Skull drive

Bone Clones hominid setMr Foulk (Social Studies Department Chair) has wanted a set of replica Hominid skulls for years and years (who doesn’t??!), but there have always been other funding priorities, and he’s just made do with a Neanderthal and an Australopithecus skull he found on eBay (photos 1 and 2, below).  But these skulls are prone to chipping when handled roughly (see right incisor on 3rd photograph for example), so they are not ideal for hands-on classroom use, the kind that really engages students.  So he would love to get the set manufactured by Bone Clones (at right) because their replicas are extremely durable (and accurate). If one is dropped, it would just bounce, and Mr Foulk wouldn’t get an ulcer when the students in his Anthropology class were taking measurements on them.  Having replicas that could be used and abused like this would help engage those students who might otherwise glaze over if just looking at photographs of skulls (which he also has; see photo 4).  And once on site, the Biology Department could also use the replicas for units on evolution and human anatomy.  There is also the possibility of them being loaned out to the Art Department if they needed something cool for students to sketch.

Flores skull replicaBecause we are in the wishing phase of this skull drive, Mr Foulk would also like to acquire a replica of Flores Man, those dwarfed Hominids that lived on the island of Flores up until 18,000 years ago or so (they overlapped with modern humans!). They had skulls the size of grapefruits.  No joking. Many students don’t know about this Hominid, so it would be a fantastic addition to the set of “standard” Hominids that Bone Clones sells.

So the Home and School Association is wondering whether there are any parents who are bone, anthropology, or science fans who might want to be donors for these acquisitions.  The skulls would last for decades, so this would be a gift that would benefit thousands of students over the years. If you are maybe interested in pitching in, please contact the High School Home and School president, Sara McCullough. We are especially keen on hearing from people that need to up their end-of-year charitable contributions, so contact her soon to get your holiday giving all done early. He could get everything on his list for $2,500.  If you are interested in helping out but could only spring for a single replica, they sell them individually, too — and Mr Foulk would be thrilled to collect them one by one if need be.

Neanderthal and AustralopithecusMr Foulk with skullsChipped tooth NeanderthalHominid photographs


About Colin Purrington

evolutionary biologist, photographer
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4 Responses to Skull drive

  1. Yes, Art Department _would_ like to borrow these…for sketching in Fine Arts Portfolio.

  2. Janet Monge says:

    This is Janet Monge from the Penn Museum. I have worked with Rich for a long time – his students come to the Museum 2 times per year.
    I actually have a program for the reproduction of fossils in human evolution. Although I do not make the Flores skull, I make many other fossils as part of the Museum’s casting program. I will ask Rich this week which ones he would like. We can donate these to the school with pleasure. It does not cover everything that Rich would like for his students and the school, but it is a start.

  3. Rich Foulk says:

    Colin, Janet and Sara,
    Thank you all for what you have done. The Anthropology class went to the Penn Museum yesterday and Janet Monge presented me with a chimpanzee and Australopithecus africanus skull casts. This was a huge and unexpected surprise! These are the beginning of a valuable new resource for Strath Haven students and you all have made this possible.
    Thank you all for your efforts,
    Rich Foulk

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