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Top 15 Animals with Big Foreheads

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Gorilla

We often associate large foreheads with modern humans, but they are far from unique in the animal kingdom! Whilst they may have multiple uses, a prominent forehead is mostly associated with the protection of the brain and the establishment of dominance. In this article, we will tell you 15 Animals With Big Foreheads.

 Giant Pandas

Animals with Big Foreheads

The humble panda, not to be overlooked despite being dwarfed in size by its polar and brown bear counterparts, has the most impressive forehead of all bears. Scientists have linked this large forehead to the evolutionary shift that pandas experienced after transitioning to bamboo as their primary food source. 

Without bamboo, whose tough stalks require powerful jaws to bite through and even tougher grinding muscles to masticate effectively, pandas would have never grown such a strong faces – their cheeks are actually an incredible feat of nature’s power of adaptation! 

Even more strikingly, pandas have some of the strongest bites relative to body size amongst all herbivores, making them a unique predator in an otherwise docile species.

Gorillas

Gorillas
Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei) silverback in Susa group, Rwanda

The largest living primates have something to be proud of. Beyond the awesome physical and mental capabilities they possess, they also possess distinctive facial features. 

Foremost among these is their high-domed head, which gives them a unique profile view from the side. Their forehead curves over their eyes and extends back in a wide arch for some distance, making their foreheads thicker than most other primates. 

In fact, it takes up more space on their face than the rest of their features combined. It’s an impressive feature that sets them apart from all other animals in the animal kingdom.

Elephants

elephant

It’s no surprise that elephants, the largest terrestrial mammal, are also the ones with the largest forehead. This spongy, padded forehead gives them an edge in battle; when elephant herds encounter other animal herds or fight amongst themselves for territory, the extra space for bone architecture ensures strength and protection for its face during head-to-head collisions.

Additionally, structurally speaking, this space could provide a means of dissipating force in order to reduce facial damage as a result of these collisions. Though they have larger brains than humans (roughly three times), it is simply scaled up according to body size rather than being proportionally bigger than humans’, allowing more room for bone structure instead.

Beluga Whales

Beluga Whales2

Beluga whales are truly majestic creatures, capable of growing up to 18 feet in length. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that belugas have incredibly unique melons. 

As an adaptation for navigation and communication underwater, their melons are enormous compared to the rest of the body and contain a special organ that can produce high and low-frequency sound waves. 

Even more impressive is that you can actually observe these massive foreheads change shape as they produce sounds. This remarkable feature makes the beluga whale one of the most intriguing sea animals around.

Sperm Whales

Sperm Whales

From the deep blue seas comes an animal worthy of admiration and awe – the sperm whale. They are the largest living-toothed predator and have the largest brain of any living or extinct animal. Amazingly, a sperm whale’s brain can weigh up to 20 pounds, five times more than their human counterparts. This highlights the need for a large forehead to protect such a large, powerful organ. The sperm whale stands proud as it has come to dominate its environment with its great size and strength. But it’s not just for the intellect that sperm whales bear such large foreheads – male whales use them as weapons when competing for females.

Orangutans

Orangutans

It is easy to look at the male and female orangutans and assume that there is a significant size difference between their foreheads, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While it may appear that the males have a much smaller forehead, this is generally because of their wider cheeks – something only seen in males. 

This has great significance as these wider cheeks mean that the larger head size translates to social dominance within an orangutan’s own species. Not only this, they also happen to have some of the most unique foreheads out of all creatures on Earth – due to their circle-shaped facial structure.

Rhinoceroses

rhino with baby

With some of the largest foreheads in the animal kingdom, rhinos exhibit a truly remarkable engineering feat beneath their hard exterior. Black Rhinos, in particular, have extremely thick and protruding foreheads that protect them from the forces of life on the savannah. 

In addition to warding off potential predators and competitors for resources, these titan-like protrusions also allow rhinos to use their horns for defensive purposes. By ramming into threatening creatures at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, those with thick noses and long horns are far better prepared against life’s dangers than their smaller-browed counterparts.

American Bison

American Bison

The bison’s impressive forehead is not just to intimidate other bovines, although that certainly is a bonus. With the added protection of a thick mat of hair, the bison uses this powerful feature as both a tool for battling within their own herds and as a defence mechanism. 

Even more formidable are the horns that can grow up to two feet long, which gives them an edge for directing short-term force against others. That being said, because they are so powerful, it is wise to exercise caution around them and give them plenty of distances when encounters do happen.

Flowerhorn Cichlids

Flowerhorn Cichlids

Flowerhorn cichlids are a species of fish with particularly impressive features – namely, the large and round nuchal hump on their forehead. While some may find this creature’s feature to be aesthetically pleasing, the reality behind this giant forehead is quite unfortunate: it was actually created through an unethical breeding process. 

The cichlids were initially intended as beautiful aquarium decorations; however, they have since been released into the wild and have since become a serious environmental issue. In fact, some countries have gone as far as banning them entirely–such as Australia–and it’s no wonder why. Despite how amusing their humps may seem, they cause internal deformations in the animals that should not be taken lightly.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins are truly remarkable animals, having one of the largest brains of any mammal in comparison to body size. The characteristic large melons situated above their eyes actually act as a bio-sonar, allowing the dolphin to emit and identify soundwaves in dark or murky waters. 

Due to this highly developed sense, as well as their intelligence and sociability, they were once trained by military organizations for underwater tasks such as locating mines and detecting enemy divers. This unique combination of organic advantage and intelligence has earned them a reputation for being the smartest sea mammals around, with truly remarkable big foreheads.

Green Humphead Parrotfish

Green Humphead Parrotfish

The green humphead parrotfish species stands out among other fishes for its staggering forehead size, especially given that the largest of the group can measure up to 1.5m in length. It takes a long time for these impressive parrotfish to grow out their bulb-like foreheads as they have huge lifespans of up to 40 years.

While it may seem strange, this feature actually serves an important purpose in their day-to-day lives – its strength allows them to break off pieces of coral which would otherwise take too much effort and energy for consumption. As these fish consume small amounts of coral every day, their forehead size can be seen as invaluable when compared to other species in the sea.

Wild Yak

Wild Yak

The wild yak is an impressively large species of bovine, standing up to six feet tall and weighing more than a ton! But that’s not all — it’s also one of the few animals with horns growing out of the side of its head, giving it an unusually wide forehead. 

Amazingly, they’re quite gentle creatures; despite their size and strength, they can be tamed easily. Unfortunately, these majestic beasts are rarely found elsewhere than in Tibet and some regions of northern China. 

Bald Uakaris

Bald Uakaris

The bald uakari monkey is an intriguing creature native to northern parts of the Amazon rainforest and well-known for its unique feature – its large forehead. With fur only growing at the back of their head, uakari monkeys have one of the most exposed and distinctive foreheads out of all animals in existence. 

Their simple yet remarkable appearances are also notable for two other distinct features – the top of their heads, as well as their ears which just further highlight the sheer size of their forehead.

Blunthead Tree Snake

Blunthead Tree Snake

The arboreal snake, native to Central and South America, is like no other. It features a comically large head – especially impressive when one considers the size of the rest of its body. This large forehead gives it a great advantage when hunting since it can feast on larger animals due to its wide opening for consuming prey. 

Plus, with eyes that take up 26% of its head size, this snake can spot its food from far away. Nevertheless, most arboreal snakes top out at 4 feet and their venom isn’t dangerous to humans.

Cow

Cow

Cows are fascinating creatures, with their large and docile eyes they bring us back to simpler times. One of the first things one notices about cows is their large foreheads, which often extend out from the head several inches. This bulging forehead isn’t just for show, as it actually serves an important function in the cow’s life – foraging for food.

That wide skull gives these animals a greater ability to use their sense of smell and touch when searching for food on the ground. Cows also have enhanced vision that allows them to see more clearly in low-light conditions such as during night-time grazing or in heavily wooded areas. 

FAQs

What animal has a large forehead?

The largest herbivorous fish on coral reefs is the gigantic bump-head parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum). It can grow to a length of 1.5 meters, weighs more than 75 kilos, and has a recognizable bulbous forehead.

What whale has a big forehead?

Beluga whales 

What is the name of the dolphin with a big forehead?

From a fossil discovered in the North Sea, a new species of dolphin with a high, bulbous forehead and a short, spoon-shaped nose has been identified. The Dutch fisherman Albert Hoekman, who in 2008 pulled up a bone from the creature’s head, gave the Platalearostrum hoekmani its name.

Do fishes have foreheads?

Despite the common misconception that fish do not have a physical forehead, this is actually not true. Fish can indeed possess a physical forehead, although they may not look like the ones we are accustomed to seeing in mammals.

Which animal has 32 heads?

Leech

Reference:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/humphead-wrasse

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/search

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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