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Happy skull appreciation day!

June 4, 2014

‘Happy skull appreciation day to you, happy skull appreciation day to yoooooooouuuuuu’…

Of course none of you can hear me, but I really am singing this at the moment to the tune of happy birthday. The cat looks less than impressed, but I am going to tell myself it is because it is tea time and she is hungry, not because my singing is at all unpleasant.

skull appreciation day

So I come to you today with my metaphoric tail between my legs. I have been very very bad and I am not talking about the crimes against photoshop that you see above. I haven’t written a blog for almost a year and I am really disappointed with myself.

The good (and, to be honest, downright terrifying) news however, is that Craniophiles is on the move. Euronymous and I are about to ship ourselves to the other side of the world and we know that this will give us a heap of new skullificient inspiration and since we know no one we will have heaps more time to blog for you.

I’m going to be using this too as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family at home, as they are all already followers of my blog and I can’t be trusted to keep two blogs up to date. Please feel free to skip over any blogs that are me telling my mum about how I am eating properly.

So thank you for your patience and we look forward to bringing you some good old British skulls from London!

PS: If you like the font in the picture above, you can get it from the cool kids at Skull-A-Day and while you are at it send them your thanks for it is they who have originated the wonderful day of skull celebrations that is Skull Appreciation Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Great Passage – Kris Kuksi

July 14, 2013

Excuse me, do you have a moment to talk about Jesus.

Did I say Jesus….?  Sorry I mean Kris Kuksi.

You may be familiar with his amazing, incredible, phenomenal (I dont think I can give enough adjectives describe the level of awesome involved here) sculptures, but were you aware that he also has a series of sketches and paintings? They are, as you can imagine, all very beautifully detailed – and of course our favourite involves a skull…

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Pic credit: Kris Kuksi

We got to see a bit of the base of the skull in our previous post about Chris Peters, but this picture is by far the best view we have seen yet. Meet The Great Passage – a picture no doubt named for its view of the foramen magnum. And while on the topic of foramen, if you look closely at the roof of this guys mouth, you will see the incisive foramen, a small opening behind the front teeth. Like the ones we have spoken about previously on the face, this one is also a tunnel for blood vessels and nerves to pass through the bone.

If you want to see more (and I highly recommend that you should) he can be found on his website and facebook page. There are even a few things for sale on his website… but if you are like me and cant afford the real thing, you can buy his book Divination and Delusion and drool over the pictures there!

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The Royal (lion) skull

May 28, 2013

If you have even been to the Tower of London you will know that it can be an overwhelming sight.  But now imagine that, with lions!

For many years, the Royal family kept a kind of zoo – the Royal Menagerie – which held animals that had been gifted from influential friends and followers.

I have to be honest, I am personally glad that the Royal Menagerie no longer exists, because lets be honest, its no place for a lion. The sad thing is though, that because it is no longer, we can’t meet these old Barbary lions that are now extinct in the wild… not a live version anyway.

You can however, pop into the Natural History Museum in London and introduce yourself to the skull of a Royal lion.

The museum collection holds two skulls that were recovered from the grounds of the Tower of London during excavations in 1937.

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Tough day at the office Barbary lion? Cos lets be honest, who hasnt wanted to bite the face off the person next to you while at work? Pic credit – Mirror UK/Rick Findler/Barcroft

The skulls have given scientists a cool insight into the lives of the lions in the Royal menagerie, including the fact that their diet was probably inadequate – visible by malformation of the foramen magnum.

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Pic credit – Natural History Museum

The skull here, as you can see, is a veritable nerdgasm of craniophile goodness. It has a good set of (super sharp) canine teeth, some visible nasal concha, a massive infraorbital foramen below his eyes and two neat mental foramen on the lower jaw.

So if you are heading to the Natural History Museum, or anywhere close, head in and meet the lion!  Say hi for us, Barbary Lion and I go way back (I’m an ex-queen you see).

As a side note, does anyone else love the word menagerie?

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Another whale of a time with skull hide and seek

May 16, 2013

You may remember my previous post about Ned Kelly as the skull hide and seek champion… but now, I think he has some heavy duty competition for the title.

The skull of a Bryde’s whale – property of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery – has gone AWOL from a beach on the South end of the Great Southern Land (Australia for any non-Icehouse fans out there… not that that is possible).

At 2m long, approximately 100kg and 100% stinky, you would imagine that the skull would have been to difficult to take from the beach, but that didnt stop some exuberant skull collector! Or maybe the Bryde’s skull thought it would take the opportunity to see some of the sights in Tasmania – a state renowned for its natural beauty (and some awesome breweries and a chocolate factory!). Particularly since it is not the natural territory for the 10m long whale.

brydes skull

Pic credit – ABC News

Now I can’t profess to know much (or anything!) about the anatomy of whale skulls, so if any one out there reading is a whale skull specialist, get in touch and tell us what makes them tick. We do know that this guy (or girl?) was a type of baleen whale, meaning there are no teeth in that mouth, but rather it would have fed by filtering water through a set of plates, trapping things that are small and delicious.

The baleen is actually made of keratin (like fingernails and hair) and not bone – and as to whether the Tasmanian scientists managed to recover the baleen from this guys skull, I have no idea!  You will have to visit the museum to see!

Thankfully the skull has now been recovered, but we definitely think this warrants a nomination in the skull hide and seek champs for 2013!

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Project Noah- citizen science bones style!

April 17, 2013

Citizen science is the in thing at the moment.  And so it should be, it is an awesome way for the public to get involved in science projects.  There are plenty of projects going on out there, but recently, we found one that is particularly cool.

Project Noah.

This website allows people to upload pictures of wildlife that they have seen while treking around the globe and get other people to help them identify what they have found.  In the process, they are creating a detailed map of what species are living where.  The bit that makes this even cooler though, is that someone has made a skull and bones section!  Also known as Identifying animals through osteology

So get on there ASAP.  Show your smarts and help someone out who needs an ID, or scroll through the entries and become edified!

Maybe you can start with this guy who lives with me (if you follow us on twitter you might have seen him before, if you dont – go follow us!)

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Cardinal sin – Clare Toms

March 19, 2013

This is the cardinal sin of Clare Toms.

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Well, she didn’t commit a cardinal sin (we hope) but she is certainly invoking one in us with this picture – or maybe even a few…

Apart from being beautiful, the picture has a double (or triple if you count the cardinal birds separately) dose of bones.  In the skeletal reflections of the birds you can see, amongst other things, some cute little cervical vertebrae, and the large sternum characteristic of bird skeletons.  You can also see their cute little birdy skulls, complete with beaks – the avian version of a mandible (jaw).

The human skull – who has a set of chompers that many of us still alive would be jealous of – has a few foramen and some awesome detail in the nasal cavity.  The bit we like best though is his very detailed nasofrontal suture.  Joining the nasal and frontal bones (hence the name!), it has that craggy-ness that makes the skull look real.

So the picture has certainly invoked envy because we want the picture but don’t have it, lust because we love it and greed because we want more of her work.  The good news is that it is for sale!  This painting is at the Copro gallery and there are some prints available on Clare’s website.   Be quick before we buy them all though!

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Señor Salme

March 6, 2013

Created by the enigmatic artist Señor Salme this little guy caught our eye recently.  He doesn’t have a name, but he does have something to say…. eyes….speaking of eyes… maybe he caught our eye as we see eye to eye on how awesome the picture is?

Anyway, enough of our lame puns, what this picture does have is some cool craniofacial anatomy.

He also has a cool feature which we don’t often see in our skull pics as they are generally the wrong angle for it or have a jaw – the styloid process.  This little guy that you see poking down on the bottom left hand side of the picture.  More specifically the temporal styloid process as it is coming from the temporal bone, and sits kind of behind and below your ear.  Its main job is as an anchor point for muscles and ligaments involved in control of your tongue and voicebox so although its small it is important!

We say that Señor Salme is enigmatic for the simple fact that his facebook page is in Spanish so is totally indecipherable by us English only speakers.  You can have a look at it here and see if you can translate…. or you can see a heap of his other artworks at his website here, many of which have skulls but all of which are awesome… AND even better, you can buy prints of these cool pics here!

And, finally, thank you for being patient Craniophiles!  We have recently moved house and jobs so our leisure time (translate blogging time) has been thin on the ground.  We are back in to the swing of normal (as it gets!) life now so we will be inundating you again will skully awesomeness soon!