Fake Skulls

How to Identify a Fake Longhorn Skull!

Recently we have had numerous people contact us and ask why they should purchase a “Longhorns Head to Tail” Genuine Texas Longhorn Skull from when they can find one elsewhere on the internet for less money. If there is a skull that appears to be the same quality for less money, it possibly makes sense for you to purchase there. However, many of the skulls on other sites for much less money are not Genuine Texas Longhorn Skulls, in fact many of the skulls that can be found on the internet that are identified as Genuine Longhorn Skulls were from cattle that didn’t even have horns when alive. This page is to help anyone positively identify the real ones from the fakes.

The Number one giveaway that the skull is a fake, is rope wrapped around the base of the horns. The rope may look “rustic”, “rugged”, or “western”, but the rope is not there merely for effect alone. The rope is there to disguise the fact that the skull is attached to the horns with plaster. 99% of the skulls with rope base wraps are not Genuine Texas Longhorn skulls.

Lets start with some examples.

Here is a small example of a “Genuine longhorn skull.” “Longhorns have horns” – and the top of their head is straight across or mostly so, with bones that extend out both sides into the the horn shell. The top of the horns are pretty much level with the top of the skull.
Real Texas Longhorn Skull - r_4365
Many other breeds of cattle are born “POLLED”. Polled means that they are born without horns. The shape of their head is rounded or pointed. The foundation bones that would normally extend out the side of the skull to support large horns are nonexistent.
Polled Skull without horns - r_4266
So, what does someone do to make a “Fake” Texas Longhorn skull? They take a skull without horns and add horns to it. There isn’t a place to attach the horns, so they use a little plaster or glue and build a place to attach the horns. See the example below. The horns are not level with the top of the skull.
Horns added to polled skull - Fake Plaster
So, now you have an ugly mess of plaster, what to you do? You use 50 cents worth of rope to hide it. See example below:
Rope hiding evidence of fake longhorn skull
Here is an example of a genuine Texas Longhorn skull that measures 56″ tip to tip. A Longhorn Skull should be Triangular in shape.
Genuine Texas Longhorn Skull - 56 inches tip to tip - r_4262_m
Here is an example of a “Fake” Longhorn that measures 56″ – Notice the narrow upper skull and the cover up rope?
Example of Fake Texas Longhorn Skull with rope hiding evidence
If you are searching for a genuine Texas Longhorn Skull, there are many available to choose from at Longhorns Head to Tail. If you are looking for a generic skull with horns plastered on, then you can take your chances on some of the other sites.

Below are some examples of real and fake longhorn skulls that are typical of those available on other sites.

Real (but “Cheap”) Skulls
Very Poor Quality Genuine Texas Longhorn Skull

The skull below is a genuine longhorn skull, but hasn’t been properly prepared. It still has skin on part of it. Don’t hang one like this in your kitchen unless you like the smell of road kill with your breakfast.
Very poorly prepared but genuine texas longhorn skull
Generic “FAKE” Skulls
Bubble Headed Polled Skull with horns glued on.
Fake Texas Longhorn Skull with plaster holding horns on.

Many of the other sites appear to be selling Longhorn Skulls, but their language is deceptive. Here is an example of one found on a well known auction site. It says:
Texas Western BULL – Longhorn Polished horns and Skull
That heading and description leads you to believe that the skull is a longhorn skull, but doesn’t actually say so. There isn’t a lie, but there is deception involved.