A Visual, Historical, Biological, and Iconographic Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Famed Collection of 312 Animal Crania

Simon Winchester

Skulls is a beautiful, spellbinding exploration of more than 300 different animal crania—amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles—written by New York Times best-selling author Simon Winchester and produced in collaboration with Theodore Gray and Touch Press, the geniuses behind The Elements and Solar System.

In Skulls, best-selling author Simon Winchester (author of The Professor and the Madman; Atlantic: A Biography of the Ocean; Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded; and others) tells the rich and fascinating story of skulls, both human and animal, from every perspective imaginable: historical, biographical, cultural, and iconographic. Presenting details about the parts of a skull (including the cranium, the mandible, the shape and positioning of eye sockets, and species-specific features like horns, teeth, beaks, and bills), information about the science and pseudoscience of skulls, and a look at skulls in religion, art, and popular culture, his stories and information are riveting and enlightening.

At the center of Skulls is a stunning, never-before-seen visual array of the skulls of more than 300 animals that walk, swim, and fly. The skulls are from the collection of Alan Dudley, a British collector and owner of what is probably the largest and most complete private collection of skulls in the world. Every skull is beautifully photographed to show several angles and to give the reader the most intimate view possible. Each includes a short explanatory paragraph and a data box with information on the animal’s taxonomy, behavior, diet, and most common habitat.

Skulls was published in December 2011 as an e-book for the iPad by the innovative e-book publishers Touch Press, creators of the best-selling e-books for iPad The Elements and Solar System. Both books were also published in print by Black Dog & Leventhal.

 Simon Winchester is the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map that Changed the World, Krakatoa, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and more than a dozen other books. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, National Geographic, and elsewhere. Mr. Winchester was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Elizabeth II in 2006. He lives in New York City and Massachusetts.

Founded by Theodore Gray, author of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, and Max Whitby, Touch Press is an e-book publisher dedicated to producing and publishing beautiful living books that make readers say “Wow!” and open their eyes and ears to the wonders of each subject. Recent publications include The Elements, Solar System, Gems and Jewels, The Waste Land, and Skulls.