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  • Specimen of the Week 363: The kangaroo stomach

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 19 October 2018

    After nearly a year working at the Grant Museum I realise I have become accustomed to aesthetics of my working environment. Decorations in your typical office might include team photos, prints of inspirational quotes and once a year, some tinsel. Here our walls are decorated with skulls, intestines and pickled reproductive organs. An interaction between a visitor and myself might involve them asking me ‘what is THAT??’, only for me to matter-of-factly reply ‘oh, that’s a bisected seal nose’. Not all interactions are so cordial however; when one visitor recently told me that our displays were ‘gratuitous’ I gently reminded them that our museum is primarily a teaching collection, meaning students across a wide range of disciplines often look at certain ‘unappealing’ parts of an animal in great detail. I hope that by writing about today’s specimen I can demonstrate why we have these ‘gratuitous’ objects on display, and what they can teach us about animals. Okay readers let’s hop to it, it’s the…

    Kangaroo stomach, Macropus sp. LDUCZ-Z43

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    Specimen of the week 359: The Infant Elephant Molar

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 21 September 2018

    If you were to look inside your mouth (I hope) you would see four different types of teeth: the incisors, canines, premolars and molars. As omnivores with varied diets, humans need these different types of teeth to eat. Our molars are used for chewing, crushing and grinding the food which has been gripped, torn and sliced by the incisors, canines and premolars. Like the animal kingdom itself animal teeth are incredibly varied in their shape and size, making them a fascinating topic of study. Today’s specimen comes from an animal with fewer types of teeth than humans, but considerable size to make up for it. Without further ado let’s get our teeth into this week’s Specimen of the Week…

    Infant elephant molar, Elephas maximus LDUCZ-Z250

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    Specimen of the week 356: Lynx skull

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 17 August 2018

    Earlier this year BBC released a new documentary series which focused on the lives of Big Cats,  helping viewers learn more about the lives of this fabulous family of animals. The series not only focused on the well-known cats such as tigers and lions, but also on species which don’t typically receive the same levels of attention. I hope this week’s blog can help shed even more light on one of these fascinating animals, it’s the…

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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 349: The nine-banded armadillo

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 29 June 2018

    Happy Friday to all Specimen of the Week readers. After a recent road trip across the southern United States, I’m bringing you a curious creature that can be found all the way from Texas to Tennessee. They are known for their distinctive shape and defensive abilities, but as we’ll see, there is more than just the shell to admire about these animals. It’s our very own…

    Nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus LDUCZ-Z2791

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    Specimen of the Week 346: The Young Rattlesnake

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 8 June 2018

    Good afternoon readers. Today we are bringing you a specimen that is feared by humans and can grow up to eight feet long. This animal is known for the distinctive sound it makes to when trying to deter predators or intimidate prey. It is long, scaly and has a bit of bite, this week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

    Specimen of the Week 342: Alizarin stained sole

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 11 May 2018

    Happy Friday to all Specimen of the Week readers. For my first specimen of the week post I decided to get started with an animal that could be considered ‘exotic’ due to its distribution (tropical Australia and New Guinea) and relatively unknown status (most people will tell you couscous is a food, not an animal). For my second post I’ve chosen a well-known animal which can be found much closer to home, it’s the…

    Our Alizarin stained sole. LDUCZ – V393

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    Specimen of the Week 336: The Common Spotted Cuscus Skeleton

    By Christopher J Wearden, on 30 March 2018

    Good afternoon to all Specimen of the Week lovers. Before I get started with my inaugural blog I’ll take this opportunity to introduce myself. I’m Chris – museum enthusiast/cyclist/zoologist-in-training. I’m also the new Visitor Services Assistant at the Grant Museum. I’ve taken time over my first couple of weeks familiarising myself with the wonderful collections we have on display, and after careful consideration I’ve decided on a specimen that is very close to the heart of our museum manager. It’s the…

    Our common spotted cuscus skeleton. LDUCZ-Z75

    Our common spotted cuscus skeleton. LDUCZ-Z75

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