Skulls

ajveachster

New Member
Messages
1,185
Location
NE Ohio
While surfing the web I came across a really cool site. I guess it's cool if you are a nerd anyway. You can find different images of animal skulls. If you ever wanted to know what your gecko's head looks like on the inside, you can see it here.

http://digimorph.org/index.phtml
 

stellascura420

New Member
Messages
236
Location
Alabama
Wow that's really cool! I'll have to bookmark that website, that's good stuff to know for me since I'm going to college to be a vet. Thanks! :)
 

snowgyre

New Member
Messages
588
Location
Athens, GA
I know this sounds pretty gross, but I've got access to a Dermestid beetle colony (ie. flesh-eating beetles). Thankfully none of my geckos are even close to being old enough to die, and all of my hatchlings look really great this year, but I might just try to salvage a skeleton the next time I've got a carcass. I've got lots of mammal skulls lying around (ie. raccoon, deer, hispid cotton rat, southern bog lemming, etc) but no reptiles.
 

ajveachster

New Member
Messages
1,185
Location
NE Ohio
I know this sounds pretty gross, but I've got access to a Dermestid beetle colony (ie. flesh-eating beetles). Thankfully none of my geckos are even close to being old enough to die, and all of my hatchlings look really great this year, but I might just try to salvage a skeleton the next time I've got a carcass. I've got lots of mammal skulls lying around (ie. raccoon, deer, hispid cotton rat, southern bog lemming, etc) but no reptiles.
We are actually looking for a skeleton (real or fake), and they are hard to find. We are thinking of contacting one of the vet colleges to see if we can take pictures of one. I think it would be a great learning tool. I remember somebody posted an x-ray once, and I found it fascinating. I did find a couple taxidermy places online that have some reptile skulls/skeletons, but none of a leopard gecko.
 

snowgyre

New Member
Messages
588
Location
Athens, GA
Angelicka, if you have a deceased leopard gecko and there's a college near you with a vertebrate collection, most of the time they have their own Dermestid beetle colonies. For something as small as a leopard gecko they'd probably be more than happy to let it sit in there for a week and give you the skeleton afterwards. The worst they could say is no.

The important thing is that you need to get as much meat off the bones as possible, so you'd have to do a lot of butchering yourself. The Dermestids also do not like eating tongues, eyes, or brains, so you'd have to clean out the skull before putting it in the colony. Still, the curator could help you do this.
 
C

corvettefan

Guest
What are the two little skinny bones that go out towards the neck?
 

snowgyre

New Member
Messages
588
Location
Athens, GA
I'm pretty sure it's called the hyloid apparatus. In reptiles, there's actually a bone that is connected to the tongue. In chameleons it's particularly well developed, since they use the pressure of their tongue on the hyloid apparatus to shoot their tongues far outside their mouths. It's kind of like shoving a slinky on a pvc pipe. If you don't physically hold the slinky down, it's going to spring up and off the pvc pipe. It's the same principle in chameleons.
 

snowgyre

New Member
Messages
588
Location
Athens, GA
Another important feature of the reptile skull is that the lower jaw is actually composed of several bones. In mammals, the lower jaw is comprised entirely of the dentary, and the other bones have shrunk and migrated to our complex middle ear. With reptiles, sound received by their lower jaw can actually be picked up by their ear drum. Interesting, eh?

Also, take note of the bones in the eye. In birds, these are called sclerotic ossicles. In birds (and I'm presuming in reptiles), their eyes aren't round. Instead, they're shaped like a doorknob, with the narrowest section being the part you see. Since they're not round, the eye needs additional support which those bones provide. The sclerotic ossicles in birds actually allow birds to change the shape of the eye at will, enabling them to compensate for refraction gradients in water.
 

ajveachster

New Member
Messages
1,185
Location
NE Ohio
I'm so glad I posted this. It seems like there are a lot more people that are interested in their reptiles anatomy than I first thought. Thank you Vanessa for all your additional information. It is nice to be able to learn so much about the little critters.
 

snowgyre

New Member
Messages
588
Location
Athens, GA
Hmm... not sure. Is the hyoid bone pretty much vestigial in humans? It's the one that provides at least some support for the larynx, right? I don't remember. I never took human anatomy, ironically enough, just reptile, amphibian, bird, and non-human mammal anatomy. ^_^;;
 

stellascura420

New Member
Messages
236
Location
Alabama
It's the only bone in the human body not articulated with any other bones (that's probably one reason I even remembered what it was lol) but it basically just anchors the base of the tongue and helps make us capable of speech by offering a larger range of movement. So do you think that means the hyloid bone in animals help them make sounds also? BTW, what did you major in? I'm a vet major but for some reason human A/P was required lol.
 

snowgyre

New Member
Messages
588
Location
Athens, GA
Aaah, okay, that makes sense. I bet they're the same structure, it just took a different form over time. The hyloid may help with articulating sounds in mammals, but I doubt it's the case in reptiles. I bet any advantage we get with sound is secondary to the main benefit of being able to use our tongues to manipulate food.

My B.S. is in Natural Resources, my M.S. is in Animal and Range Sciences, and now I'm getting a PhD in Forestry (although I'm really a wildlife biologist, I will be getting certified sometime next year). Animal anatomy was incorporated into whatever '-ology' classes I took, for example, ornithology, herpetology, and mammalogy. That's cool that you're gonna be a vet though! I played with the idea for a while, but I decided that I liked working more with managing wild populations than dealing with people and their poodles. ^_~
 

stellascura420

New Member
Messages
236
Location
Alabama
That's cool that you're gonna be a vet though! I played with the idea for a while, but I decided that I liked working more with managing wild populations than dealing with people and their poodles. ^_~
I understand what you mean. My ultimate goal/dream is to be a wildlife/exotic vet and work for a zoo or a place like Busch Gardens or Disney Animal Kingdom. I think I would get bored too easily as a regular clinic pet vet. Not so much from dealing with pets, but from dealing with their owners lol. Your job sounds really cool and interesting though, what all do you get to do? :)
 
Top