Oct 27
Photo of Ben Garrod

© Ben Garrod www.bensbones.co.uk

My name is Ben Garrod and I am an evolutionary biologist. I work with animal skeletons (mainly primates) to see what they can tell us about a species’ evolutionary history.

Looking at skeletons has taken me around the world; from beluga whale skeletons in the Arctic to chimpanzee skeletons in Uganda. I’ve looked for lost species in the Caribbean and have even discovered which animals were buried with emperors in ancient tombs!

Apart from being the main guest at any cool Halloween party, skeletons and especially skulls can tell us a lot about an animal’s diet, behaviour, lifestyle and even its environment.

To find out more about my skeletons you can visit my website, follow my BensBones page on Facebook or find me on Twitter.


Spooky Skull Quiz!

For Halloween, ARKive has asked me to design a spooky skull quiz (cue scary laugh – mwa ha ha ha ha ha)! Look at the pictures and use the creepy clues to guess which species the skulls belong to. They may look scary and ghoulish but they all come from amazing creatures. So test your ‘skull’ and let us know how many you get right!



Skull photo © Ben Garrod, www.bensbones.co.uk

© Ben Garrod, www.bensbones.co.uk

Clue 1: This scary looking beast is more of a rare ocean wanderer than a monster from the deep!

Clue 2: This deep-diving ocean mammal sounds like it has a birds ‘nose’.

Clue 3: A mirror might help solve this anagram to find this mysterious animals’ name ELAHW DEKAEB S’YBREWOS.



Skull photo © Bjorn Vancampfort, bjornvancampfort@hotmail.com

© Bjorn Vancampfort, bjornvancampfort@hotmail.com

Clue 1: This big fish hangs round in big schools.

Clue 2: At more than 4m in length, this animal sounds like a cross between a DIY tool and a scary fish.

Clue 3: The head is actually used to pick up tiny electrical signals released by prey buried beneath the sand.



Skull photo © Ben Garrod www.bensbones.co.uk

© Ben Garrod, www.bensbones.co.uk

Clue 1: These demonic-looking ovids  are kept by rare breed collectors but are expensive – not a baaaar-gain, by any means.

Clue 2: Not named after the famous ghost that hounded Scrooge but they do share the same names.

Clue 3: If you’re having issues with the name, it does have another name;  what  might you call a sheep with many horns?



Skull photo © Ben Garrod www.bensbones.co.uk

© Ben Garrod, www.bensbones.co.uk

Clue 1: This beaked beast really is a ‘living dinosaur’.

Clue 2: These big flightless birds pack an awesome kick.

Clue 3: The casque… no-one really knows! Maybe a sound amplifier, a weapon or to attract a mate.



Skull photo © Jake McGowan-Lowe www.jakes-bones.co.uk

© Jake McGowan-Lowe, www.jakes-bones.com

Clue 1: This ocean predator sounds as though it enjoys a spot of fishing.

Clue 2: Its other name implies this species likes easy ‘pray’.

 Clue 3: This fish is just angling for some attention!


Don’t be ‘afraid’ to let us know how you got on, I’m sure there will be ‘stiff’ competition for the skull crown!

Ben Garrod, Conservation Biologist and bone expert.

Happy Halloween!

Have a frightfully scary time this Halloween with ARKive’s spooky Halloween activities. We’ve created a wild Halloween package of critter crafts, creepy crawlie computer games, bizarre blog posts and monstrous movie clips to take you and your Addams family on a spooky adventure through the natural world.

  • Dmitri (October 27th, 2012 at 11:16 pm):

    Right. The first skull is a beaked whale, the second belongs to a hammerhead shark, the third is a polyhorn sheep (I guess), the fourth is a cassowary, and the fifth is an anglerfish, either deep-sea or not.

  • michael (November 3rd, 2012 at 12:16 am):

    1 – beaked whale 2 – hammerhead shark 3 -jacobs sheep
    4 – cassowarry and fith is a monk fish ( know this because i cleaned and prepared then reset it for jake lol)