Skull 5

Skulls: Heads and Tales Exhibit

Take a closer look at this animal skull. What can this skulls tell you about the animal's diet? Their eyesight? Their behaviors? Their place in the food web?

Skull 5 / CAS:MAM:8068 by California Academy of Sciences on Sketchfab

Static images:

skull side view

skull front viewFront

This skull belonged to a beaver.

Habitat: along rivers and streams in the forests of North America, Europe and some parts of Asia

Diet: Herbivore

  • Leaves, woody stems, and aquatic plants

Average Life Span: 24 years

Size: 23-39 inches (head & body), 7.75-12 inches (tail)

Weight: 60 pounds

Domelike beaver homes, called lodges, are constructed of branches and mud, like dams. They are often strategically located in the middle of ponds and can only be reached by underwater entrances. These dwellings are home to extended families of monogamous parents, young kits, and the yearlings born the previous spring.

Sources: National Geographic Photo Ark: beaver and Smithsonian National Zoo: beaver

View more skulls


The Skulls exhibit at the Science Learning Center gives visitors a chance to see and touch real (and some replica) animal skulls, many from local animal species. Special thanks to Dr. Ted Stankowich of the Mammal Lab and Suellen Jacob in the Biological Sciences Department for lending these interesting specimens to the SLC.

3D images courtesy the California Academy of Sciences; physical specimens are part of the Academy's Ornithology & Mammalogy collections.

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