SKULLS: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection

SIMON WINCHESTER and NICK MANN, photographerskulls

Skulls is an amazing coffee table book. Mann’s photo’s are exquisite and Dudley‘s collection is massive. The photos of the mainly white skulls are floating on a black back ground. Along with each skull is a small picture of the animal alive which gives context to the skull. Some of the skulls are huge, like the elephant, and some are tiny. One of my favourite pictures was the complete skeleton of a seahorse, Grouping the skulls according to species, Winchester educates the reader on the peculiarities of key subspecies, enabling readers, should the need arise, to tell a long-nosed bandicoot from a southern brown bandicoot, the bizarrely horned babirusa from a warthog, or the fearsome (and extinct) saber-toothed cat from a modern and endangered tiger. There were even pictures of forerunners of homo sapiens.

I have a small collection of skulls, most of which I discovered while out hiking or exploring the North Saskatchewan river bank. When I heard of this new book I knew that I had to take a look. It was time well spent.

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