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We’ve looked into our  research collections and found nearly 200 of our weirdest, wildest, and all-around most fascinating skulls. Rarely on display, the skulls featured are research specimens of animals from around the world—mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, ranging from the big and spectacular (a rhinoceros, a big-horned sheep, a giraffe) to the miniature (California’s own tiny Western Black-headed Snake).


Visitors will:

  • Compare the skulls of all 57 species of San Diego County’s snakes and lizards.
  • Watch scavenger beetles devour the flesh off a real animal skeleton, leaving it clean for scientists to study.
  • Create your own skull art on the SKULLS chalkboard, or write a question about a skull for museum scientists to answer.
  • Learn about the different bones in your skull and see how they're different from other animal skulls.

SKULLS features the best of what theNAT has to offer—real specimens, real science, and nature’s diversity in all its stunning variety.


Different Skulls, Same Parts


See the latest KPBS video: Behind The Scenes At The NAT to watch the real specimens being cleaned by flesh-eating beetles.


Photo Gallery