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Evolution: Striking Black and White Photos of Vertebrate Skeletons by Patrick Gries

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Working in concert with publisher Xavier Barral and writer/scientist Dr. Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu, photographer Patrick Gries has put together a book/photo series packed full of striking black and white photographs of vertebrate skeletons — from tiny creatures to massive elephants, his book Evolution covers a vast swath of vertebrate natural history.

In all, the book consists of 300 of these white on black skeletal photographs that took Gries six full months to shoot. The photos represent a coming together of art and science: even as the book chronicles millions of years of evolution, each individual photo is masterfully taken, with the skeletons arranged in poses that breathe life back into the bones.

The 288-page, hardcover book — published in the US by 7 Stories Press (ISBN 978-1-60980-368-1) — pairs those 300 stunning evolution-meets-art photographs with descriptive passages written by Dr. Panafieu.

Here’s a brief look at just a few of the photos in the series:

Southern sea lion. Otaria flavescens. Coast of South America (L. 1,90 m) © Patrick Gries
Southern sea lion. Otaria flavescens. Coast of South America (L. 1,90 m) © Patrick Gries
Evolution © Patrick Gries
Evolution © Patrick Gries
Greater flamingo. Phoenicopterus ruber. Africa, America, Eurasia (h. 1,20 m) © Patrick Gries
Greater flamingo. Phoenicopterus ruber. Africa, America, Eurasia (h. 1,20 m) © Patrick Gries
Opah. Lampris Guttatus. Western Atlantic Ocean (L. 1,10 m) © Patrick Gries
Opah. Lampris Guttatus. Western Atlantic Ocean (L. 1,10 m) © Patrick Gries
Seehorses. Family. Syngnathiade (L. 12 and 14 cm) © Patrick Gries
Seehorses. Family. Syngnathiade (L. 12 and 14 cm) © Patrick Gries
Python. Python sp. Tropical Africa, Asia and Australia (L. 2,30) © Patrick Gries
Python. Python sp. Tropical Africa, Asia and Australia (L. 2,30) © Patrick Gries
Human being. Homo sapiens. Worldwide. (h. 1,70 m) © Patrick Gries
Human being. Homo sapiens. Worldwide. (h. 1,70 m) © Patrick Gries
Cheetah. Acynonyx jubatus. Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East (s. h. 70 cm) © Patrick Gries
Cheetah. Acynonyx jubatus. Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East (s. h. 70 cm) © Patrick Gries
Eurasian sparrowhawk. Accipiter nisus. Africa, Eurasia (h. 18 cm) + house sparrow. Passer domesticus. Worlswide (h. 8 cm) © Patrick Gries
Eurasian sparrowhawk. Accipiter nisus. Africa, Eurasia (h. 18 cm) + house sparrow. Passer domesticus. Worlswide (h. 8 cm) © Patrick Gries
African elephant. Loxodonta africana. Africa (s. h. 2,20 m) © Patrick Gries
African elephant. Loxodonta africana. Africa (s. h. 2,20 m) © Patrick Gries
Flying lemur. Cynocephalus volans. Southest Asia (L. 53 cm) © Patrick Gries
Flying lemur. Cynocephalus volans. Southest Asia (L. 53 cm) © Patrick Gries

The point of the Evolution photos is to drive home the similarities between all vertebrates — from the smallest to the largest, from the extinct right on up to us — “help[ing] us understand the mechanisms of evolution and its various aspects.”

Evolution is the book on how we came to be what we are. Spectacular, mysterious, elegant, or grotesque, the vertebrate skeletons of Earth’s fossil record carry within them the traces of several billion years of evolution.

Evolution… is a unique and beautiful attempt to provide a map of those billion years in time.

To pick up a copy of the book yourself, head over to 7 Stories Press by clicking here. And if you’d like to see more of Mr. Gries work, you can do so by heading over to his website here.

(via LensCulture)


Image credits: Photographs by Patrick Gries and used with permission. All images protected by copyright law, no use allowed without express permission from the photographer.

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