side view

We found this skull on a beach in southwestern Sweden, and are curious as to what kind of animal it was.

bottom view

frontal view


1 Answer 1


It's definitely a bird pelvis (synsacrum). Based on the size (~30 cm), it came from a very large bird. Unfortunately, comparative images of bird pelves are rare on the internet. Some possibilities (large birds of Sweden possibly found on the coast):

  • Great northern loon
  • Golden eagle
  • Common crane

A loon skeleton (from http://paolov.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/friday-mystery-object-107/) shown below.

Loon skeleton

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ kmm FTW good job $\endgroup$
    – user1357
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 3:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your prompt response - you must be right. We have looked at some alternatives - a cormorant, perhaps, or a goose? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ The top of the synsacrum in the loon isn't flat enough to be a good match. I know that loons have strange pelves, so that was my best guess. Whatever it is, it was a very large bird. $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Crane looks like a decent match, see link, in geese and gulls it is mush shorter and squarer, researchgate.net/figure/… $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 1:54

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