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Archive for December, 2016

Underwhelming fossil fish of the Month December 2016

MarkCarnall31 December 2016

2016 was the most overwhelmingly underwhelming year of the last twelve months.

But it wasn’t the only thing that disappointed in month by month instalments. Yes, of course I’m talking about the Grant Museum of Zoology’s underwhelming fossil fish of the month blog series. The monthly foray into the drawers and drawers of underwhelming fossil fishes at the Grant Museum brings you the finest worst selection of least best fossil fish. We ask the tough questions such as why are these fossils here? Which way around is this one supposed to go and what does this label say. This is the blunt edge of science right here.

Of course, I’ve got an especially unspecial fossil fish to round off the year. Vast expense was spared to bring you just another underwhelming fossil fish to mark one step closer to your inevitable end. First up though, it’s END OF YEAR ROUND-UP FILLER CONTENT. (more…)

Specimen of the Week 272: Jar of Horseshoe Crabs

Rowan J JTinker30 December 2016

Doors open and in rushes a gust of cold air, shortly followed by a hurried flurry of wrapped up rosy faces. Here at the Grant Museum of Zoology, winter is a time of pressed noses on cabinet glass, and hungry eyes peering in at vivid sugary denizens of the cupboard. Come one, come all and experience Grant’s famous jelly moles, cotton candy wasp nests, liquorice joeys and of course the week’s special, all the way from America, the hard candy horseshoe crabs…

LDUCZ-J322 Horseshoe crabs

Jar of Horseshoe Crabs (Limulus polyphemus). LDUCZ-J322

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Specimen of the Week 271: Helmeted guineafowl

Dean WVeall23 December 2016

Dean Veall here. ‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas and all the Museum, not a creature was stirring (on account of them being dead and all), not even a mouse, (because that particular specimen was preserved using an experimental freeze drying technique). Festive greetings blog readers. I’ve chosen the guineafowl for my specimen this week, which has (sort of, ish) festive connections. The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), was often confused with the more familiar guineafowl in the 1600’s when European settlers reached America, due to the the featherless heads and similar colouration of the plumage.  And with that tenuous festive link, this week’s Specimen of the Week is:

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Specimen of the Week 270: Dalmanites trilobite

TannisDavidson16 December 2016

 

LDUCZ-J422 Dalmanites caudatus

LDUCZ-J422 Dalmanites caudatus

O trilobite, o trilobite
You must be Dalmanites
O trilobite, o trilobite,
You must be Dalmanites

Your exoskell’s ovoid in outline
Your frontal lobe is vaulted fine
O trilobite, o trilobite
You must be Dalmanites

Eleven thoracic segments
Pleural furrows deeply impressed
O trilobite, o trilobite
You must be Dalmanites*

This week’s Specimen of the Week is a jolly little chap, ready to bring the Christmas cheer to Grant Museum blog readers everywhere.  An early gift from Santa’s pack, this fossil has recently arrived at the Grant Museum following a transfer from UCL’s Geology teaching collection. Despite being a bit broken and a bit repaired, this trilobite has received a warm welcome from all who have glanced upon his charming petrified remains. Behold this week’s Specimen of the Week… (more…)

Specimen of the week 269: the dogfish

Will JRichard9 December 2016

Hello people of the internet. Will Richard here blogging away about a favourite of mine from the Grant Museum’s collection. This week I’ve chosen a specimen that’s a little bit of everything: dog, fish, cat and shark. That’s right folks, so good they named it twice, it’s the…

LDUCZ-V1081 lesser-spotted dogfish

LDUCZ-V1081 lesser-spotted dogfish

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Specimen of the Week 268: The carp – How things got fishy

JackAshby2 December 2016

This week in The Conversation I wrote that there is no biological definition of fish that doesn’t involve humans. However the group that most people recognise as the fishiest are the ray-finned fishes. They have fins supported by a series of fine flexible rods. It is the ray-fins that have gone on to be the dominant vertebrates in the seas, lakes and rivers: there are around 30,000 species. This makes them by far the most diverse vertebrate group, and I’d like to explore how that happened. Among them is this week’s Specimen of the Week:

Common carp skeleton LDUCZ-V543

Common carp skeleton LDUCZ-V543

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