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  • Best of the Beasts

    By Will J Richard, on 9 May 2016

    Best of the Beasts

    There are about 7,000 animals or bits of animals on display in the museum and we know that can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. So to help some of our young (and young at heart) visitors navigate their way round the collection we’re proud to launch Best of the Beasts, our free new activity trail. And you get to learn some pretty extreme animal facts on the way round too. Ever wanted to know which of our 68,000 specimens is the…

     

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    How and why did these animals die?

    By Will J Richard, on 27 April 2016

    Something which I get asked a lot by the Grant Museum’s visitors is “how did these animals die?” It’s an excellent question and one to which I wish there were a more comfortable answer. Or, at least, a more definite one. The truth is that it isn’t one size fits all. Not all of our specimens ended up here in the same way and for many we can only guess. The Grant Museum holds one of the UK’s oldest zoological collections and attitudes and practices have certainly changed over the last 200 years, though the ethical debates continue.

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    Meet the moufflon

    By Rachael Sparks, on 15 August 2011

    UCL 844 moufflonNever mind the Grant Museum’s much publicised quagga – the Institute of Archaeology has got its own menagerie of strange and rare beasts to enjoy. There isn’t time to explore them all here, so I thought I would introduce you to one of my favourites – a vase in the shape of a moufflon (UCL 844).

    A moufflon, I’ve been reliably informed, is a type of wild sheep. In Cyprus, which is where this vessel comes from, it has become a powerful and widely used national image, appearing in a range of contexts from coinage to airline branding. Immortalised in clay, and far less endangered than the real thing, ours looks rather well-fed and sedate, more suited to a gentle amble over the hills than energetically leaping from crag to crag.
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