Pathological mammal skulls of the California Academy of Sciences
January 31, 2014
Back in the early aughts Cal Acad did a huge exhibit simply titled, “Skulls”. It was extremely rad, and I could have been running a separate blog this whole time with nothing but photos from that exhibit. (Update: the website for the exhibit is still going. Check it out.) I was just sorting through some old folders and found some favorites. The photo above is the wall of California sea lion skulls, 900-odd in all, arranged from the biggest, gnarliest males on one end to the most gracile females on the other end.
They also had quite a few pathological sea lion skulls. Here are two that haunted me–they got tangled up in fishing lines that slowly sawed through their skulls and into their brains, killing them.
This elk had a pretty funky growth on its right dentary.
But easily the most “Naw!”-inducing pathology in the whole exhibit was this poor deer, which has a pathological growth the size and shape of a big pastry where its right eye used to be. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence that its antlers are all wonky, too–maybe Darren will show up and enlighten us.
So if you’re feeling down, you can at least console yourself that you don’t have a flyblown, pus-leaking cinnamon roll of pathological bone growing on your face. Have a nice day!