Bare bear bone: beautiful
December 17, 2013
Yes, it’s bear skulls on the brain lately. I have nothing scientific to say here, I was just going through old files and found myself struck by the beautiful form and texture of the bones. The photos are all close-ups of this skull of an American black bear, Ursus americanus.
Part of the forehead, where the nasal bones (bottom center) and maxillae (either side) meet the frontals (top).
The left temporal bone in posterodorsal view; anterior is to the left. The open web of bone in the middle of the photo is one of the pneumatic sinuses inside the temporal bone. The round hole just above the web enclosed a blood vessel in life. The half-tube on the right is the bottom half of external auditory meatus, or bony ear-hole (where you stick the Q-tip when you clean your ears, if you’re a reckless, safety-warning-diregarding outlaw). All of this got exposed when a bullet or shotgun slug took the back quarter of this bear’s head off, as described here.
Personally I’d be happier if the skull was still in the bear and the bear was still doing its bearish business, but as long as it’s dead anyway, we might as well learn what we can from the remains (my universal policy on dead animals). And also just stop now and then to appreciate their natural intricacy and beauty.