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"(...I'm just a pile of bleached bones. I can't talk.)"
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Whenever a show features or references a desert, savannah or other barren land, odds are good that a bovine cranium will be involved to set the mood.

Often accompanied by cacti.

Compare Ribcage Ridge, a sister trope.

Examples of Desert Skull include:


Anime and Manga

  • Bleach has Neliel Tu Odelshvanck, who has part of such a skull attached to the top of her head. She lives roaming around the desert that is Hueco Mundo.
    • The arrancar Rudbornn also has a more traditional-looking desert bovine skull around his head, like a helmet.
  • The opening scene of Gun X Sword has Van looking down at an animal skull in the desert and questioning why the creature isn't still alive for him to eat.

Art

  • Shows up in many Georgia O Keefe paintings.

Comic Books

Film — Animated

  • The owl mariachi band from Rango stood on one of these while singing about Rango's journey.
  • On An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Tiger runs into a buffalo skeleton that seems to come to life when he's not looking. Turns out it's being manipulated by native mice, who then capture Tiger.
  • The Lion King: As Simba returns to the Pridelands, he finds it riddled with wildebeest skeletons to show how Scar's rule has ruined the land. At the end, as Simba returns to power, there's a brief shot of a skull being washed away by the rain, to symbolize the end of the old regime.
  • Cars featured a variation of this: since all animals in their world are also vehicles, in the desert surrounding Radiator Springs, there appear to be rusted-up car parts lying among the rocks and cacti.

Video Games

Web Original

  • In Pioneer Trail (formerly Frontier Ville), these keep popping up on disused parts of your homestead.

Western Animation

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