Giraffatitan skull photos

February 10, 2014

Giraffatitan skull left lateral

Let it never be said that we don’t take good care of our commenters. Heck, we’ll even degrade ourselves by blogging about theropods, if that’s what it takes to keep you all happy.

Giraffatitan skull left anterolateral

Derp dah durr

Today’s post is a response to this comment by Dean, asking for lateral view photos of the skull of Giraffatitan. Mike and I did get to spend some quality time with the T1 skull (a.k.a. “Old Toilet-Face”) when we were in Berlin in 2008.

Giraffatitan skull anterior

Unfortunately, most of our photos turned out not-so-hot. The room around the skull was not large, so we couldn’t get back very far from it. Hence our photos are plagued by perspective distortions.

Giraffatitan skull right anterolateral

Ah hurr hurr hurr

Also, we didn’t have a tripod along and the light level was fairly low, and the combination of handheld shots and long exposure times meant that most of the shots are at least a little blurry.

Giraffatitan skull right lateral

BUT. It was still a thrill to see that skull up close.

The crazy thing about Giraffatitan is that the skull looks like it’s going to be pretty sweet when you see it from the side. Because you’re thinking it’s going to be kinda narrow, like a giraffe’s head. Then you get even a partial front view and suddenly the animal’s whole skull looks like a partially-deflated whoopie cushion (whereas in life it looked like a mostly-inflated whoopie cushion). And then you have to live with the knowledge that one of the most majestic animals that ever lived on Earth was afflicted with derpty-face. I’ll bet they went extinct from shame.

Giraffatitan skull dorsal oblique

Still, there is some cool anatomy to see here, especially the snout-troughs leading down from the external nares, and the neurovascular foramina on the maxillae.

And, crucially, brachiosaurs had the good taste to hide their freakish countenances 45 feet up, where they could be safely ignored by everyone other than pterosaurs and birds. This has not escaped the notice of exhibit designers:

Giraffatitan skeleton hmmm

Go here for the unmarked original.

10 Responses to “Giraffatitan skull photos”

  1. nwfonseca Says:

    I don’t know, it’s kind of cute in a Smeagol kind of way. What really blows me away are those skinny little nasals and frontals? “I’m obviously not an expert” They look so fragile.

  2. Dean Says:

    Thanks a bunch guys, this will help immensely!

  3. Mark Robinson Says:


    Matt, you’ve accidentally inserted a ‘u’ into the first word. Yes, the Brachiosaurus sneezing scene in JP is based on hard evidence (or, at least, highly viscous evidence).

    Lovely pics btw.

  4. […] harsh-but-fair “Derp dah hurr” / “Ah hurr hurr hurr” captions on his Giraffatitan skull photos reminded me that there is a sauropod with a much, much stupider head than that of Giraffatitan. […]

  5. Does anybody have an idea as to what (if anything) sat in the “bowl” above the Giraffatitan’s snout? That rounded indentation always reminds me (VERY superficially) of a certain whale skulls where the melon sits.

    Fun photos, thanks for sharing.

  6. brian engh Says:

    NICE POST. Sauropod skull reference this comprehensive does not exist elsewhere on the web. It’s good to see our hard earned SV-POW dollars hard at work and paying dividends!

  7. […] in left anteroventrolateral view. Presacral vertebrae sculpted, skull scaled and 3d-printed from specimen T1. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far […]

  8. […] height, the skull features front and center, giving us a great view of what SV-POW’s Mathew Wedel has jokingly called “Old Toilet-Bowl Head”. Normally I’d disapprove of the in-your-face presentation, which, as I […]

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