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  • Specimen of the Week: Week 147

    By Jack Ashby, on 4 August 2014

    Scary monkeyMuseums are full of mysteries (particularly when you are as cursed with historically challenging documentation, as many university museums are). For example, why do we have a plum in a jar? Why does our dugong only have seven neck vertebrae (it is one of the few mammal species that should have eight)? Why don’t we have a wolf, one of the world’s most widespread mammals? Who ate our Galapagos tortoise? Why do we only have the heart and rectum of a dwarf cassowary? Why is scary monkey (pictured) so scary?

    Not to mention, why did we put all those moles in that jar?

    After ten years of working here, I am confident that there is no greater mystery in the Grant Museum than this one: why would you stick a battery in a dead animal?

    This week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

    Specimen of the Week: Week Seventy-One

    By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 18 February 2013

    Scary MonkeyAt the Grant Museum of Zoology we pride ourselves on our accessibility, both in terms of the specimens and the staff. The staff office, for those of you who have yet to visit or are perhaps unobservant, is in the Museum itself. One of my favourite sentences that I use on a pretty regular basis (basically any time I can slip it in, I do) is “If you need me, I’ll be behind the rhino”.
    We love fondling things at the Grant Museum and host numerous activities each term that allow hands-on sessions with the specimens. A fantastic facility that few other Museums are physically able to offer due to the spider web of red tape that we at UCL merrily skip passed as we form part of a university based teaching collection. However, handling specimens and allowing them to be handled by others comes with its drawbacks. Things can and sadly do get broken and on occasion, things go missing. Fortunately, in my two years of service I have only ever known laminated images of animals from the activity sheets to go missing and they have nearly always been located in the mouth of a small child. However one such animal that would presumably fit in your pocket is this one. This week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

    Specimen of the Week: Week Twenty-Two

    By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 12 March 2012

    Scary Monkey: Week Twenty-TwoI want you to guess a location. If I say ‘marsupial’, you say…
    Australia?
    Survey says…
    ‘Eh ehhhh’.
    Modern marsupials are in fact also found in both North and South America. North America has only acquired one modern species but South America has plenty. To celebrate this exciting fact of the day, the specimen of the week this week is… (more…)