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This place was home to Kong's entire species. It was their paradise, until the Skullcrawlers came. They laid waste to everything. „ 
— Riccio, having a vision of the battle between Kong's species and Skullcrawlers.

Skull Crawlers, also known as Cranium Reptant are two legged reptilian monsters that dwelled on Skull Island. They served as the island's apex predators.


Little is known about the origins of this voracious predator, although its evolutionary purpose is abundantly clear. The Skull Crawlers exists to devour, destroy, and dominate. Subterranean in nature, burrowing up through the geologically unstable steam vents across Skull Island, it is as though the Skull Crawlers climbed up out of Hell itself.!


Little is known about the origins of this voracious predator, although its evolutionary purpose is abundantly clear. The Skull Crawlers exists to devour, destroy, and dominate. Subterranean in nature, burrowing up through the geologically unstable steam vents across Skull Island.

The Skull Crawlers also developed a direct rivalry with Kong's specie sand warred against each other for centuries, with casualties on both sides. The Skull Crawlers were also greatly feared by the Iwi people, with them refusing to mention their actual name. According to the Iwi, they believed that once Kong dies, a giant Skull Crawler would awaken and doom the island.

Kong: Skull Island

A Skull Crawler was first seen feasting on a dead Sker Buffalo by Kong. Kong was about to confront the creature when he was ambushed by a second one from behind. After a quick battle, Kong ends up subduing and killing both Skull Crawlers by stuffing one's head into the ground, breaking its neck, and smashing the other's skull with a devastating stomp.

Another Skull Crawler ambushed Jack Chapman and a Spore Mantis, but went for Chapman and ate him alive while the Spore Mantis managed to escape. The same Skull Crawler then showed up in The Boneyard and vomited Chapman's remains. When William Randa attempted to make his camera work, he was devoured by the Skull Crawler, who then tried to attack the group. Randa's camera started to flash inside the predator, which started to aggravate the monster.

The Skull Crawler then started chasing Mason Weaver but the group retaliated using flamethrowers. The creature batted a crew member with its tail onto one of the Kong skulls, causing his backpack to detonate several canisters of toxic gas. The Skull Crawler started to grow relentless, and disturbed a flock of resting Leafwings, which then turned their attention to attacking the group. James Conrad managed to kill some of the flying creatures using Hank Marlow's katana. The Skull Crawler then set its eyes on Conrad and Reg Slivko, but Weaver rescued them by tossing Conrad's lighter at one of the subterranean vents, creating an explosion that killed the Skull Crawler on the spot.

The largest of all the Skull Crawlers was awakened due to seismic explosives dropped onto Skull Island along with the rest of his kind, and after Kong was incapacitated by Preston Packard, he let his presence be known by emerging out from the water. Then he attacked the weakened Kong, quickly rendering the ape unconscious before turning his attention to the humans. As he chased Conrad and the other survivors of the research expedition sent to Skull Island, Earl Cole tried to sacrifice himself along with the beast by arming several grenades before having the massive creature try to eat him. However, the monster didn't fall for it, and batted him against a mountainside as the grenades went off, killing him.

As the large Skull Crawler finally reached the rest of the crew in a marsh, Kong appeared in time to stun it with a large boulder, enabling the crew to run to safety. The Skull Crawler then returned his focus to Kong, pouncing on him and gripping his throat with his jaws. Kong and the Skull Crawler continued to brutally wrestle, pummel, and bite each other until the Skull Crawler threw Kong into a shipwreck with his tail, where the ape became entangled in the chains. With Kong subdued in the wreck, the Skull Crawler was about to kill him when he's fired upon by Conrad and his companions. It then returned his focus to the humans and approached them, giving Kong the chance to free himself from the chains.

As he approached the crew once more, the monster's right eye was destroyed by a flare fired by Weaver, and Conrad lured him away from the crew on their boat. This allowed Kong to use and swing the propeller of a wrecked ship at his adversary like a medieval flail, which caught the beast in the shoulder and allowed Kong to pull the the Skull Crawler back toward him and resume their fight. Kong continued to wrestle the creature and threw him into the side of a cliff, causing Weaver to fall into the water below.

As the Skull Crawler continued to attack Kong, the ape uppercut him with the ship's propeller, slicing the monster's throat wide open and seemingly killing him. As Kong saved Weaver from drowning, the Skull Crawler pounced at Kong once more. After coiling his tail around Kong, he wrapped his tongue around the ape's arm, pulling it down his gullet in an attempt to devour Weaver as she's clutched in Kong's hand. After a brief struggle, Kong tore out the creature's internal organs through his mouth, killing him instantly.

Skull Island: The Birth of Kong:

The Skull Crawlers' history on Skull Island is revealed in Riccio's visions. Riccio says that the Skull Crawlers attempted to invade Skull Island and waged war against Kong's ancestors. When the Iwi first arrived on Skull Island, the Skull Crawlers had wiped out all but the two strongest apes, which turned out to be Kong's parents.

After the 1973 Monarch Expedition, Skull Crawlers still inhabit Skull Island, but their population is controlled by Kong and none of them have grown to the size of the largest Skull Crawler. In another vision, Riccio explained that the Skull Crawlers continued their fight against Kong's parents.

One day, the Skull Crawlers attempted to kill Kong's mother while she was in labor but Kong's father kept them at bay. After Kong was born, his mother hid him in a cave and sealed it with rocks before she rushed to aid her mate. Kong then watched as the Skull Crawlers slaughtered his parents.



Skull Crawlers are large reptilian creatures with only two long forelimbs and no hind limbs, as well as long, prehensile, serpentine tails. They have long and slender, yet muscular, sturdy bodies. Several aspects of their appearance are noticeably skeletal, particularly their torsos and their heads. What appear to be the "eye sockets" of their skull-like heads are merely empty fenestrae: their real eyes are set much further back, with the fenestrae perhaps serving to distract enemies from their more vulnerable eyes and acting as heat-seeking sensory pits. The colors of their scales range from dark brown to dark green to a bone white color.

Their heads closely resemble those of Mosasaurs such as Tylosaurus, and their jaws possess two rows of serrated, razor-sharp teeth. The Skull Crawlers have four digits in total of each hand, with the thumb being the smallest digit and the rest of the digits being larger and of the same size, and a prominent bony spike protrudes out of each of their elbows. The thorny, toothlike structures of their inner mouths somewhat resemble that of a leatherback turtle's. Additionally, they have long, prehensile triple-forked tongues that they can use to grab their prey.

Smaller Skull Crawlers are easily distinguishable from the larger ones. Their heads are smaller, and more sloped. They also possess a more prominently brown skin tone. Larger Skull Crawlers are larger and almost as big as Kong. Their heads are more defined, larger, and somewhat angled.

The Skull Crawlers were designed to act as the "fallen angels" of Kong's kingdom and represent the darker, bleaker aspects of Skull Island.


Skull Crawlers are subterranean pack-hunting predators with insatiable appetites that are the results of their heightened metabolisms. They are highly aggressive, as well as incredibly persistent in pursuing their prey. They do however show some degree of intelligence (as Hank Marlow calls them "crafty bastards"), shown when the largest of the Skull Crawlers refuses to devour a grenade-armed Cole and simply swats him away. Adolescent Skull Crawlers appear to be naturally fearless, as two of them teamed up to attack Kong despite being smaller and out-muscled.

The largest of the Skull Crawlers appeared to be more intelligent than the rest of his kind. This was seen when he appeared only once Kong was subdued by Preston Packard. It also seems to have a hint of sadism as he licks Kong's face maliciously after he's been tangled up in a shipwreck's rudder chain during their battle. This large Skull Crawler was also shown to have a deep desire of killing and eating humans, which was shown several times when he diverted his attention from Kong to James Conrad and Mason Weaver, implying that he acts not only from primal instinct but some degree of malice and cruelty. This could also hint that the Skull Crawlers are innately malevolent, as Hank Marlow calls them "nasty" and "mean as hell".


Agility and Speed:

Skull Crawlers can run very quickly despite having only two legs, and their speed matches or surpasses that of an adult human. They can also make quick turns as well.


Being subterranean in nature, Skull Crawlers are capable of using their limbs to burrow deep into the earth.

Durability and Stamina:

Skull Crawlers are very durable, as they can withstand bullets from rifles and the searing heat of a flamethrower. The largest of the Skull Crawlers was only dazed when Kong slammed his head with a boulder or smashed his face with a tree branch. They have incredible stamina, being able to stay in a full-fledged fight for several minutes even whilst being incredibly injured.


Skull Crawlers are both solitary and pack hunters. One can kill a Sker Buffalo on its own, and they can cooperate to take down more powerful creatures such as Kong.

Olfactory System:

Much like snakes, the Skull Crawlers' olfactory system allow them to sense hot-blooded lifeforms from miles away.

And according to weaver "really gross"


As the apex predators of Skull Island, Skull Crawlers are fearsome and deadly in battle, using their jaws full of razor-sharp teeth as their primary weapons. They can hold their own against opponents like Kong, able to withstand the blows and pummeling of the ape. Their serpent-like tails are used for swatting, wrapping around, or throwing an opponent during combat.


Heightened Metabolism:

Skull Crawlers possess accelerated metabolism, which causes them to live in constant starvation. This is shown when the largest Skull crawler ravenously tried to eat Weaver, and refused to let go of Kong's arm. Kong then turned his insatiable appetite against him, tearing out his tongue and other attached organs.


Having only two limbs to walk on, their stance is rather unstable and can easily be toppled.


It is shown that Kong can easily eviscerate Skull Crawlers by yanking out their tongues, which are connected to their internal organs.

Vulnerable Eyes:

The eyes of a Skull Crawler are one of its only weak points, as seen when Weaver destroys one of the larger Skull Crawler's eyes with a flare gun. It is likely that the large eye-like sockets on the front of their faces serve as distractions from their real eyes which are set further back. They may also serve a function as heat-seeking pits.


  • The Skull Crawlers' stomachs don't appear to be able to digest bone, as one of them is seen vomiting bones, including a human skull, in the boneyard. This is similar to some species of snakes that eat eggs.
  • The Skull Crawlers' design have been influenced by the Two-Legged Lizard from the original 1933 King Kong film, along with Sachiel from Evangelion, No-Face from Spirited Away, and Cubone from Pokemon.[2]
  • The Skull Crawlers combine features of snakes, lizards, and mosasaurs, all of which are members of the reptile order Squamata (it is possible that the Skull Crawlers are ancient, highly-specialized members of this taxon).
  • According to Hank Marlow, they are the "Devils" of Skull Island and are feared by the natives to the point where they won't mention their true name, this makes "Skull Crawler" an alias or a nickname, as Marlow admitted he just "made up the name" cause it sounded neat.
  • In the novelization, it is stated that the Skull Crawlers are amphibious, as Weaver mentioned the one in the boneyard had gills, and would thus pose a threat to the world if they ever left Skull Island.
    • This is similar to the MonsterVerse Godzilla, who is also a reptile but strangely possesses gills.
  • The fact that the Skull Crawlers' eye sockets can be mistaken for their real eyes has a similar fact for Orcas, as their white markings make people believe that those are their real eyes.
  • The novelization states that Skull Crawlers can mimic human cries, and that this was the cause of Gunpei Ikari's death, as he and Marlow mistook one for an Iwi child crying. The book also suggests that the largest Skull Crawler appeared when it did because it somehow sensed that Kong was down.

List of Appearances:


  • Kong: Skull Island (First appearance)


  • Kong: Skull Island: The Official Novelization
  • Skull Island: The Birth of Kong


  1. ↑ Kong: Skull Island Production and High-Res Photos SciFi Japan. Retrieved January 15, 2018
  2. ↑ Davis, Erik (February 17, 2017). DIRECTOR JORDAN VOGT-ROBERTS ON WHY 'KONG: SKULL ISLAND' IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER 'KING KONG' MOVIE Fandango. Retrieved June 27, 2017