Anatomy is wild.

Stopping to consider all the little pieces of a living creature that combine to form its whole can be pretty jaw-dropping, and in some cases, more than a little confusing. When archaeologists and biologists uncover fossilized remains of now-extinct creatures, they can’t rely solely on the general shape of the bones. They have to use litany of other context clues and known information to form as clear a picture as possible; but even then, they often later find they were way off.

Looking at these skulls, it’s easy to see exactly how that can happen. Imagine you’re from an alien world and you come across these bones from a long-dead Earth. What would YOU assume these creatures looked like?

14. Elephant

How this isn’t a cyclops is beyond me.

13. Otter

Much friendlier than you might suspect.

12. Elephant Seal

Looks like an absolute monster. Really just a blobby boi.

11. Hammerhead Shark

To be fair, these guys are 100% nature’s pranks.

10. Domestic Dog

From hell beast to best friend real quick.

9. Snapping Turtle

Don’t be shy, little guy!

8. Domestic Cat

Don’t let the looks deceive, they’re still vicious.

7. Coyote

General Coyote! Your bones will make a fine addition to my collection!

6. Rabbit

Don’t mind me, just a fluff.

5. Hamster

Small but mighty.

4. Crocodile

Ok, you get a pass.

3. Another Domestic Cat

You’ve come a long way, Mr. Kibbles.

2. Night Monkey (aka Owl Monkey)


1. Earthworm

And the greatest example of why we can’t just rely on bones…

Hope you found those as interesting as we did! Hats off to the scientists who work so hard to solve these kinds of mysteries. It obviously isn’t easy!

What’s the weirdest animal on earth, in your opinion?

Tell us in the comments.