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  • Specimen of the Week 326: elephant bird egg

    By Will J Richard, on 19 January 2018

    Hello e-readers! Will Richard here, once again choosing a specimen for you. And to say good bye (I am soon off to pastures new) I’ve gone for a giant. The biggest in its Class….

    LDUCZ-Y1 elephant bird egg cast

    LDUCZ-Y1 elephant bird egg cast

    (more…)

    The Curator’s Egg*

    By Nicholas J Booth, on 5 December 2012

    Those of you who are based around UCL will probably have noticed the opening of the Octagon Gallery, UCL’s brand new exhibition space and the first part of the University’s ‘master plan’.  If you haven’t been to see it I urge you to. The cases are brand new and look great in the space, and we have used touch screens and AV for all the interpretation, so there’s plenty to prod and poke and play with. The idea of the gallery is to act as a show case for UCL’s collections and current academic research, and there is a wide variety of different objects represented.

    One of these objects  was recorded on our database simply as the ‘Big Egg’.

    Photo shows a large white egg shaped object on a wooden stand.

    Say what you see. It really is a Big Egg.

    When I saw this on the database I was disproportionally excited, as it’s the punchline to one of my favourite jokes –

    Q – What’s big and small at the same time?

    A – A big egg’

    (Armando Iannucci)

    On my first visit to the Science and Engineering Collection store rooms this was the first object I looked for and, when I eventually found it and unwrapped it from its bubble wrap (a bit like Christmas) I wasn’t disappointed. As you can see it looks exactly like a big white egg, but it also opens up to reveal a strange red cross on the inside. It can even be taken apart to reveal a pair of matching crosses. Why?

    (more…)