A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
I found what is most certainly the skull of a koala. It is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia, and is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae. The closest living relative is the wombat. I've done dozens of image searches of native animal skulls, but they keep pointing me back to the koala - this is clearly not the skull of an introduced species, nor a carnivore. Large eye and nasal cavities, large incisors, five molars each side, and the size is just about right. I was unable to locate the mandible. Needless to say, I hadn't a clue what I had found at the time and my initial thought was it belonged to a brushtail possum, but that wasn't to be the case. I can also see the family resemblance to the wombat, having now done comparisons. The wombat skull is quite similar in shape and size, although much heavier in appearance, and with larger, broader incisors. However, it was the smallest teeth that helped me ID this spotting, shown clearly in photos 4 and 5 - the canines, nestled between the incisors and premolars. The distance between the incisors, canines and molars, called the 'diastema' (plural diastemata), also became obvious as it's usually quite large in herbivores. Finally, note the 'three' pairs of incisors lined up in a row (of which three individual teeth are actually missing in this spotting), again shown clearly in photos 4 and 5, and also illustrated in the following link - https://www.savethekoala.com/sites/savet...
Spotted along the Gold Creek walking trail at Gold Creek Reservoir, which lies just to the west of Brisbane. Freshwater lake, and dense native bushland vegetation of dry eucalypt forests and subtropical rainforests.
I'm constantly looking for koalas when I'm out hiking. It's hard enough finding a living one, so what are the odds of finding a koala skull? It was just lying a short distance from the track in the undergrowth. I don't even know what made me look, but I'm so glad I did. I left the skull behind on the trail as it is illegal to remove any item from a national park, state forest or nature reserve in Australia. However, once I had a clearer idea of what I had found, I returned to the area two weeks later to locate it once again, but to no avail. I rested it on a tree stump so other hikers could also see it, but I think it may have been taken. I just wanted some clearer photos. Never mind. PS: If you click on the reference link, it displays a photo of a koala skull. Just beneath the photo there is a tab which says "view/download original image." Click on that, and it brings up a full-size image with amazing detail. PPS: A great koala link: Australian Koala Foundation - https://www.savethekoala.com/ Everything you could ever want to know. It even shows a skull.
Lat: -27.46, Long: 152.88
Spotted on May 6, 2018
Submitted on Jun 8, 2018
and 9 other people favorited this spotting