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  • Specimen of the Week 216: European Plaice

    By Dean W Veall, on 30 November 2015

    Hello dear Specimen of the Week readers, Dean Veall here. This week I shall be bringing you a very fishy (again) Specimen of the Week, how can I possibly top the three toothed pufferfish you may be asking yourself? Well, I believe I have for two very good reasons. Firstly the fish I have chosen is one of the asymmetrical marvels of the natural world. Secondly, has one of the most curmudgeonly comical faces of all animals (I challenge you to find me an animal that beats this specimen). And finally, has recently featured in the events that have accompained our Glass Delusions exhibition. This week’s Specimen of the Week is…..


    Specimen of the week 215: the sparrowhawk taxidermy

    By Will J Richard, on 23 November 2015

    Hello zoo-fans. Will Richard here, throwing words at the page to bring you this specimen of the week. And what a specimen I’ve chosen. Graceful, elegant, deadly and now stuffed. Slightly wonkily. Case 17’s finest…

    LDUCZ-Y1549 female sparrowhawk taxidermy

    LDUCZ-Y1549 female sparrowhawk taxidermy


    Specimen of the Week 213: The Enigmatic Gibbon

    By Rachel H Bray, on 9 November 2015

    Hello Grant Museum blog readers and zoology enthusiasts, it’s Rachel Bray here. You may be wondering who I am, unless you saw a Specimen of the Week blog by me back in May when I temporarily joined the Museum for my MA placement. I am very lucky to be back at the Grant until Christmas to work with the Museum’s wonderful learning and events programme. As part of my return I’m pleased to be getting back into the Specimen of the Week swing of things by researching this week’s candidate which is…

    Photograph of the grey gibbon specimen

    LDUCZ-Z475 Hylobates sp.


    Specimen of the Week 212: I am the Walrus

    By Paolo W Viscardi, on 2 November 2015

    After spending my Halloween weekend dressed as a vampire, I’ve been thinking a lot about animals with big fangs that feed by suction.

    Walrus skull Odobenus rosmarus LDUCZ-Z2270

    Walrus skull Odobenus rosmarus LDUCZ-Z2270

    That’s right, my Specimen of the Week is…


    Specimen of the Week 211: A Cheeky Chappie – The Lowland Paca

    By Paolo W Viscardi, on 26 October 2015

    Hi, I’m Paolo and this is my first blog post as Curator of the Grant Museum of Zoology, picking up the reins from Mark Carnall. I’ve chosen this specimen of the week based simply on the fact that it has very interesting cheeks – or ‘zygomatic plates’ if you speak zoologese.


    Lowland paca skull Cuniculus paca LDUCZ-Z195

    This gnarly-cheeked Specimen of the Week is…


    Specimen of the Week 210: the fin whale foetus

    By Will J Richard, on 19 October 2015

    Hello! Will Richard here, bringing you your weekly dose of specimen. And this time it’s a real giant. I did a quick calculation and the average fully-grown version is equal to 875 of me. That’s 10 more than the “maximum capacity” of a District line tube train, 10 and a half packed double-decker buses or 175 full cars. So in conclusion… it’s lucky that fin whales don’t commute. This week’s specimen is…

    LDUCZ-Z527 fin whale foetus

    LDUCZ-Z527 fin whale foetus


    Specimen of the Week 209: Mammoth tusk

    By Tannis Davidson, on 12 October 2015

    LDUCZ-Z2978 Elephantidae

    LDUCZ-Z2978 Mammuthus primigenius

    This week’s Specimen of the Week is one of the first objects to be seen upon entering the Museum. Majestically, it sits just behind the front desk cradled in a graceful arc of perfect balance and symmetry. It is the largest fossil in the Grant Museum’s collection and although incomplete, measures over 1.7m in length.  What a beaut!  This week’s specimen is…



    Specimen of the Week 208 (Four years!): The four-eyed opossum

    By Jack Ashby, on 5 October 2015

    Preserved four-eyed opossum.  LDUCZ-Z1596

    Preserved four-eyed opossum.

    As those of you who can divide 208 by four – or have read this post’s title – will have realised, four years ago this week Specimen of the Week was born.

    The main aim of this series is to shed light on parts of the collection that you might not spot among the thousands of specimens in our dense displays. Occassionally we do want to give extra attention to a “hero” specimen, but by and large it’s the also-rans that get featured.

    Some might think that this honour should be reserved for animals at the lower end of the human-centred pecking order (fish and invertebrates, for instance), but there are many mammals that go unloved too. This one is no exception. It is so unloved that its Wikipedia page comprises of only five lines.

    This week I’m featuring the first animal that came to mind when I tried to think of something related to the blog’s age: Four.

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

    Specimen of the Week 207: Threetoothed pufferfish

    By Dean W Veall, on 28 September 2015

    LDUCZ-V1552 Triodon macropterus

    LDUCZ-V1552 Triodon macropterus

    Hello Specimen of the Week readers. Dean Veall here. I’ve chosen a specimen that’s often caught my eye but I was never too sure about what type of fish it actually was. It is possibly the specimen in the Museum with the least representative name. I give you this week’s Specimen of the Week …. (more…)

    Specimen of the Week 206: The leopard skull

    By Will J Richard, on 21 September 2015

    LDUCZ-Z334 leopard (Panthera pardus) skull

    LDUCZ-Z334 leopard (Panthera pardus) skull

    Hello! Will Richard here. Taking my turn to bring you another specimen of the week. And what can I say about this week’s specimen?

    Very little… on with the blog!

    This week’s specimen is…

    **the leopard skull**