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


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 Jul 31 '14 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? $\endgroup$ – Eirik Jensen Jul 31 '14 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 Jul 31 '14 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 Apr 25 '18 at 1:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.