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  • Archive for July, 2018

    Specimen of the Week 353: The exploded crocodile skull

    By Hannah Cornish, on 27 July 2018

    Specimen of the week this week is the skull of a giant predator which has been subject to a very special preparation method. The result is not only educational, but is surely the specimen of the week with the coolest name ever, allow me to introduce…

     

    LDUCZ-X121 exploded skull of Crocodylus porosus (saltwater crocodile)

    LDUCZ-X121 exploded skull of Crocodylus porosus (saltwater crocodile)

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    Specimen of the Week 352: The dolphin fin

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 20 July 2018

    Specimen of the Week: Dolphin fin (Z640)

    Good morning to all Specimen of the Week readers. Working front of house at the Grant Museum I am fortunate enough to witness the faces of countless visitors light up as they enter the museum and take a first look at the fascinating objects we have on display. Today’s specimen often provokes a strong reaction from visitors and sometimes even draws attention away from our more famous residents. This isn’t because it is a large or visually impressive specimen, but because it clearly demonstrates the anatomical similarities we share with our tetrapod relatives (tetrapods are four-limbed vertebrates including living and extinct amphibians, reptiles and mammals). Without further ado I would like to introduce you to our very own…

    Dolphin fin, Delphinus delphis LDUCZ – Z640

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    Specimen of the Week 351: The carrion crow

    By Nadine Gabriel, on 13 July 2018

    Hello everyone! I’m very sad to say that this is my last Specimen of the Week post because my internship finishes at the end of July. My final specimen is a carrion crow, and it was collected from a road on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales in 1993, and then donated to us in 2008 by the Museum of London. The purpose of the donation was “to fill a gap in the bird teaching material”. Read on to find out more about this magnificent bird…

    Taxidermy carrion crow, Corvus corone LDUCZ-Y1533

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    Specimen of the Week 350: The Plastic Fantastics

    By Tannis Davidson, on 6 July 2018

    Four fantastic plastic moulds Australosomus merlei: Clockwise from top left: LDUCZ-V1685, LDUCZ-V1696, LDUCZ-1697, LDUCZ-V1698

    Four moulds of Australosomus merlei: Clockwise from top left: LDUCZ-V1685, LDUCZ-V1696, LDUCZ-1697, LDUCZ-V1698

    This week’s Specimen of the Week is a celebration of diversity, fashion and fabulousness. It pays tribute to all the specimens who have suffered discrimination or denied equal status for not being considered ‘real’ specimens. Yes, I’m referring to the casts and particularly the moulds in natural history collections which are too seldom given pride of place on museum display shelves despite contributing an incalculable value in the transmission of scientific ideas and knowledge.

    Casts in natural history museums are often considered second-class museum specimens; their primary function to exemplify the original specimen for comparative purposes. The moulds which produce the casts are arguably even lower down the ladder of regard – transitional objects used in the creation of offspring specimens (casts) and rarely displayed or considered accessionable objects in their own right.

    Apart from their value as conduits of reproduction, moulds are also a resource illustrating both innovation in technique and the fashions of their time. Without further ado, this week’s Specimen of the Week salutes… (more…)