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Atkinson Collection Skulls Take Up Temporary Residence at California Academy of Sciences

The exhibit includes a variety of vertebrate skulls, including dog skulls, as pictured above. Photo credit: Kathryn Whitney/ California Academy of Sciences.

August  13, 2014

Three human skulls from the School of Dentistry's Spencer R. Atkinson Collection are among new company at the California Academy of Sciences' "Skulls" exhibition located in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Dr. Dorothy Dechant, Pacific Dugoni's museum curator for the Institute of Dental History and Craniofacial Study, says that the skulls are on loan for the exhibit, which runs May 16 to November 30, 2014.

"As requested by the Academy, we were able to provide a male and a female skull illustrating bony facial features that distinguish the two sexes, and a juvenile showing characteristics typically found in the maturing facial skeleton and teeth," Dechant said.  

According to the California Academy of Sciences website, the "Skulls" exhibit features more than 640 vertebrate skulls ranging from "an enormous African bull elephant to a tiny elephant shrew." The exhibit tells the stories of vertebrate animals and stretches 3.3 million years into the past to illustrate evolutionary changes. Read more about the exhibit here.  

Dorothy DechantThe Atkinson Collection at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is a world-renowned research and teaching resource tucked away in the fourth floor of the school's new San Francisco campus. The collection consists of more than 1,500 human crania collected by orthodontist Spencer R. Atkinson primarily from autopsies and biological warehouses.  

Professionals and advanced students are encouraged to submit research applications to study the collection, and Pacific faculty are welcome to request use of a subset of the collection for teaching purposes. Read more about the Atkinson Collection here.

Category Type: Dental Issues and Research, Special Events

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu