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Big box of bones #3: The monkey skulls


This is the third week that I have been writing about a fantastic parcel of skulls I was sent. Last week I wrote about a snake skull, and the week before that I wrote about a leopard skull. This week I am going to write about these brilliant monkey skulls.

Monkey skulls are the nearest skulls I have to human skulls I have so far, because monkeys are quite a lot like humans. (If you look at some of the girls in my class like there is basically no difference.) The eye socket are like dents in the front of the head, and the eyes are higher up than the zygomatic arch, which makes them different from cats and deer, and pretty much everything. The braincase is quite a big part of the skull. The lower jaw is all one piece, rather in two pieces like most other skulls I have.

Ben, who was the person who sent them too me thought they were both macaque monkeys. But the skulls are different sizes, and different shapes if you look at them hard enough. This made me think they were different types of monkeys. This is the bigger one of the two.

It has a big ridge above the eyes, and the bit with the eyes is straight up and down. You can't see it in this picture but he has a big of a saggital crest on the back of the head, which shows it has strong jaws. The back of the skull of both of them is missing, I don't know why. The right hand zygomatic arch is missing.

This picture above is from the second smaller skull. The bit with the eyes is sloping back, and it doesn't have a saggital crest.

On the jaws, the bit at the very top was either missing on the big skull, or it was a different shape. It feels like it has been broken. Both jaws have five cheek teeth on each side of the lower jaw, a big canine on each side, and four incisors at the front..

This is what made me think the two skulls were different species because of the lines on the back of the skull. This next picture shows what I mean:

I thought two monkeys from the same species would have the same lines. My friend Lucina at the University of Dundee knew someone who was an expert, and his name is Professor O'Higgins at Hull York Medical School. He looked at the pictures and other people who worked in his department helped too. That helped a LOT !

He said that they were both the same type ! Like Ben, he thought they were both macaques, but he wasn't sure what species exactly. He thought one was a dominant male, with big muscles, who was probably the one in charge. He said that monkey's hormones had gone a bit mad, so the monkey was stronger and more muscular than normal.

He said the other smaller skull was what a male usually looked like:

This is the biggest difference I have seen between all skulls of the same type and age. Normally, all deer skulls of the same age are about the same size, and all my pussy cat skulls are the same size too.

Here is a crab-eating macaque. The picture was taken from Wikimedia Commons and it was taken by Muhammad Mahdi Karim.

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Anonymous said...

how did you make that april fool thing, its really cool.


Jake said...

Dad put together two different pictures, one of me near the castle in my village, the other one was of my cat skull !

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