What was this animal
(See answer below)
These fused bones were found on shore at Lake Perry, near Perry, Kansas.
top view, skull
A biologist or naturalist might recognize this bone.

snout of skull

animal skull, from above, right

Delicate, lightweight and picked clean, this piece is about 4.5 inches long, including projecting bones at the top. (See photo, far left)
front view
I was stumped. Do you know? See answer below:

Another photo: I should have taken a close look at the underside of this bone. I now clearly see vertebrae.

I SUPPOSED this piece to be a skull. But what animal?  
It was delicate and light weight. I looked up mammal skulls online and found nothing with this "latticework" look. Buta biologist in the United Kingdom, Will Higgs, knew.
His answer threw me for a loop! (see right)
Thanks, Will, for solving my mystery!

ANSWER: (check out Will's Skull Page online)

Will Higgs, University of York, UK replied to my query about indentifying this as a mammal skull:

You can't identify which skull it is - because it isn't a skull !

It is the synsacrum of a bird - roast yourself a chicken and have a look at the bones of its rear end. The synsacrum is a set of fused bones including the pelvis. The sockets which look a bit like eye sockets are the hip joints.

It is very difficult to say which species it comes from without a reference collection. Try asking a local park warden or naturalist.

See a diagram of where this part of the bird might be -- focus on the "tail"
©2002 by Carol Yoho
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