Credit goes to photographer Nick Brandt. http://www.nickbrandt.com
"No one knows for certain exactly how [these animals] die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, causing them to crash into the lake," Brandt writes in his new photo book Across the Ravaged Land.
"The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry."
Brandt said, "There was never any possibility of bending a wing or turning a head to make a better pose -- they were like rock,", "so we took them and placed them on branches and rocks just as we found them, always with a view to imagining it as a portrait in death."
"The notion of portraits of dead animals in the place where they once lived, placed in positions as if alive again in death, was just too compelling to ignore," Brandt said of his decision to photograph the animals. "I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Re-animated, alive again in death."
Other photographs can be found in Nick Brandt's book titled Across the Ravaged Land. http://www.nickbrandt.com/Text_page.cfm?pID=2706