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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.

photography by Nick Mann

What’s Under Your Skin?

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.

photography by Nick Mann

Whose Skull Is This?

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

istock/knape

Chihauha

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

photography by Nick Mann

Whose Skull Is This?

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

istock/MilanEXPO

Domestic cat

…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.

photography by Nick Mann

Whose Skull Is This?

Hint: This one really is a monster.

istock/JaysonPhotography

Gila Monster

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

photography by Nick Mann

Whose Skull Is This?

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

istock/dangdumrong

Blackbuck

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

photography by Nick Mann

Whose Skull Is This?

Calling the orthodontist!

istock/Nailia Schwarz

Boston Terrier

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).

Originally Published in Reader's Digest