Does anyone know what this is? I know this is not a land mammal because [details needed].

front view of unknown skull Unknown skull found under rock at beach.

side view of unknown skull No sign of eye sockets or jaw with teeth.

view of underside of unknown skull I have no idea what this is. Couldn't find any other bones.

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    $\begingroup$ How are you confident it is not a land mammal? My first thought was a badger skull, but I do not think it is. $\endgroup$
    – User65535
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps a goat or sheep that has fallen of a cliff. The beach near me has lots of bones from farm animals who died from misadventure. $\endgroup$
    – user438383
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ It's not fossilised either $\endgroup$
    – user438383
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ you will not find eye sockets as you think of them in any marine mammal skull, the eye socket is mostly soft tissue. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ A location in the world would be helpful for ID. Species present can vary widely depending on location. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


A reasonable match for many features, bearing in mind the incompleteness of the skull is that of the South African Fur Seal (AKA. brown fur seal, Australian fur seal).:

image of various views of skull

Carolyn Stewardson, Tania Prvan, Meÿer MA, Raymond J Ritchie Copyright status unknown, fair usage via Researchgate

Shown here are views of an adult male of 10 years, the parts circled are those present in your specimen. The slight brow-ridge present on yours is just visible on the bottom plate.

The marked difference between your specimen and this one is the presence of sutures between parietal and frontal bones, which seem to be fused on yours indicating an older specimen (perhaps up to 30 years), but:

Suture age was not a good indicator of absolute age or age group

It's also difficult to tell the match of the slope of the skull bones away from the centre line particularly the parietal - which may be a match or not.

Submitted until a better match comes along.

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    $\begingroup$ Almost an exact match to the image, and the nuchal crest on the OP's skull is definitely that of a seal $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 18:11

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