Skulls: Heads and Tails

What can you learn from a bone? Turns out, quite a bit!

Take a closer look at the different animal skulls in this virtual exhibit. What can these skulls tell you about the animal's diet? Their eyesight? Their behaviors? Their place in the food web?

Every animal features characteristics or adaptations that allow them to thrive in a particular ecosystem. What can you say about the animals whose skulls are shown below? What inferences might you make? [An inference is an idea or conclusion based on observation and prior knowledge.]

Remember, the goal is make inferences about different animal adaptations—not just guess the name of the animal (although that can be fun, too!)

Select a skull to examine:


The Skulls exhibit at the Science Learning Center gives visitors a chance to see and touch real (and some replica) animal skulls, many from local animal species. Special thanks to Dr. Ted Stankowich of the Mammal Lab and Suellen Jacob in the Biological Sciences Department for lending these interesting specimens to the SLC.

3D images courtesy the California Academy of Sciences; physical specimens are part of the Academy's Ornithology & Mammalogy collections.

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