|Photo and labels by Alan Kearney|
[This photo] gave me the dorsal view of the skull I needed to confirm the 6 incisors of a carnivore, the lack of unfused sutures that would have shown a juvenile, and importantly, the lack of prominent post-orbital processes (portion of the bone behind the eye socket that sticks out in a slight point into the space formed by the zygomatic arch/cheek bone); it is very obvious in a cat skull and ringtail, slightly obvious in a raccoon, fairly obvious in a badger, and almost not present in this specimen.
But this view of the the skull was misleading, so [tomorrow's photos] were invaluable.
By the way, while those are good robust digging claws, they are just the hind foot claws.
Tomorrow: Science gets the answer!