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Half a dodo?

By Jack Ashby, on 22 February 2011

Last week Natasha McEnroe, the Museum Manager and I met with Maev Kennedy of the Guardian to show her around the new Grant Museum space.

One of the things she was most interested in was the unknown specimens that we had discovered when the collection was being packed up in our old home. Some of the new discoveries were rather disappointing but one exciting discovery was a box of dodo bones, and Maev has written a great piece about it in today’s Guardian.

This is actually only half of our dodo material – the other half having been on display for years. According to our records, there should always have been two boxes of bones, but none of the current staff had ever seen it and occasionally material has been documented twice in the past creating phantom duplicate specimens. We asked all the staff from the previous 20 years, and they confirmed its existence, but had know idea where it was. We feared it was lost.

So when it turned up during the move there was much celebration.

The newly discovered specimens, shown here on the right, are now on display in the new Museum.

Grant Museum's new dodo

The “new” dodo is on the right.

5 Responses to “Half a dodo?”

  • 1
    Debi Linton wrote on 25 February 2011:


    Well, this has made my day!

  • 2
    derek wrote on 4 March 2011:

    Looks an awful lot like a curator to me.

  • 3
    UCL Museums & Collections Blog » Blog Archive » Say Hello To My Little Friends wrote on 1 August 2011:

    […] but unfortunately, to the untrained eye the skeletons look much like a horse, a dog and a box (now two boxes) of bones.¬† In particular the quagga and thylacine have interesting fur colouration so we wanted […]

  • 4
    UCL Museums & Collections Blog » Blog Archive » The Grant Museum’s first birthday wrote on 15 March 2012:

    […] articles and book chapters published by staff 11 objects acquired 4 co-curated exhibitions 2 floods Half a dodo went on display (really several bits of several […]

  • 5
    One of our dinosaurs, birds, crabs…. is missing | UCL UCL Museums & Collections Blog wrote on 13 November 2014:

    […] 1. Somebody* put it back in the wrong place. A little known fact about museums is that under English law it is still possible to punish a museum professional with death if they commit this crime. Putting a specimen in drawer 43 instead of drawer 44 may sound trivial, but if it’s one of 200,000 superficially identical butterflies that’s been misplaced….. Of course, naturally you search the nearby area but if it isn’t immediately¬† findable the next step is to organise a search committee and comb the museum inch by inch until it is located. Sometimes this is how half dodos are rediscovered. […]

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