View of the Human Origins station in the Skulls exhibit, where visitors compare the skulls of our distant ancestors.

Skulls tell a tale of evolutionary change for all vertebrates, and humans are no exception. In the Skulls exhibit, three sets of skulls tell the story of our species, from our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, to Australopithecus afarensis—our distant, upright-walking ancestor. Compare those skulls to that of a modern Homo sapiens—to reveal differences and similarities in how each species walked, ate, and learned—and you may just find yourself pondering what our skulls might look like in another million years.

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Experience the wonder

Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

3D Skull Viewer

Academy scientists partnered with Google to image specimens from our research collections using an advanced, automated 3D technique. The results? Jaw-dropping.

Warthog skull
Bandar’s Bones

For more than 60 years, Academy field associate Raymond Bandar has been collecting thousands of skulls. In a ten-case display curated by “Bones” Bandar himself, visitors to the Naturalist Center can explore a variety of skulls featuring curious traits and abnormalities.