Animal Skulls Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

It's easy to recognize a human head beneath its flesh, but some of these animal skulls might surprise you.

What's Under Your Skin?

photography by Nick Mann

While less than one twentieth of one percent of the entire animal kingdom has a skull, the human skull is made up of 22 separate bones.

Whose Skull Is This?

photography by Nick Mann

It looks kind of like a bone octopus, but.....

Chihauha

istock/knape

...It's a chihauha, minus the cute parts. This breed's skull is among the most unrecognizable of all dogs.

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Whose Skull Is This?

photography by Nick Mann

It looks like it belongs to a monster, but really.....

Domestic cat

istock/MilanEXPO

...It's just a kitty. In some very old houses, cat skulls are buried under the fireplace; it was believed they offered protection from witches.

Whose Skull Is This?

photography by Nick Mann

Hint: This one really is a monster.

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Gila Monster

istock/JaysonPhotography

A Gila Monster's skull is strangely knobby, with sharp, needle-like teeth.

Whose Skull Is This?

photography by Nick Mann

This beauty moves fast, perhaps to keep trophy hunters from stealing its horns.

Blackbuck

istock/dangdumrong

The Blackbuck is an Indian antelope found on ranches in North America. Only the males have horns.

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Whose Skull Is This?

photography by Nick Mann

Calling the orthodontist!

Boston Terrier

istock/Nailia Schwarz

The Boston Terrier's lower jaw extends beyond the upper, giving its face a distinctive look, thanks to selective breeding. That's reflected in the animal's skull.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Skulls

For more, see Skulls by Simon Winchester, with photography by Nick Mann (Black Dog  & Leventhal Publishers).

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