Skulls by Simon Winchester comes to the iPad

Noggins are beautiful. At least, that seems to be the point of Skulls by Simon Winchester, a new iPad app that features three-dimensional presentations of more than 300 animal crania.

The app was released Tuesday by UK-based Touch Press, the company behind lauded iPad apps like The Elements, Solar System, and The Waste Land. Like those pricey offerings, Skulls is the iOS equivalent of a fancy coffee table book—full of both information and rich illustrations.

In addition to explorable photographs of animal skulls from the collection of taxidermist Alan Dudley—who can be heard in audio clips describing highlights from the collection—the app features text from Winchester, author of books such as Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded. The text can viewed as black-on-white pages when the iPad is in portrait mode, or white-on-black in landscape mode—the latter to better feature the photographs. Winchester’s text is also available in audio clips that are synchronized to the page.

Other highlights include notes on every animal species featured in the 360-degree photographs, as well as a comparison mode that allows the user to examine up to four animal skulls at once.

Skulls By Simon Winchester costs $14. It is compatible with iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.

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