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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Specimen of the Week 287: The Marine Isopods

By zcqsrti, on 14 April 2017

Marine isopod (Serolis scythei) specimens in fluid. H145

Marine isopod (Serolis scythei) specimens in fluid. LDUCZ-H145

Research for this specimen on the week has been somewhat difficult, especially when a quick google search for it’s Latin name comes up with fruitful results of operation manuals for gasoline hedge trimmers, stamp catalogues for the enthused collectors of the Falkland Islands and an aged encyclopedia called the ‘Penny Cyclopaedia of The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge’ (a steal at only seven shillings and a sixpence).







Specimen of the Week 250: Model of a crayfish embryo

By Tannis Davidson, on 29 July 2016

In honour of the 250th Specimen of the Week, as well as the new wax model display in the Museum, it seemed fitting to choose a show-stopper of a specimen which is so fabulously bizarre that you might describe it as being out of this world.

This odd ball regularly puzzles the onlooker as to its identity and often reminds folk of a certain ‘perfect organism’ whose ‘structural perfection is matched only by its hostility’ *.


The wait is over, science fiction fans. This week, we pay tribute to the most magnificent, perfectly evolved predator to scare us from the silver screen… (more…)

Specimen of the Week: Week 152

By Mark Carnall, on 8 September 2014

Scary Monkey As you may have gathered, we’re fans of science fiction here at UCL Museums, from the Institute of Archaeology Keeper preparing for the zombie apocalypse, to the Petrie Museum attending LonCon and own film nights which often feature radioactive monsters, giant ants and stop motion dinosaurs. This week’s specimen of the week is straight out of science fiction. So strap into your power loader, politely request alien lifeforms to stay away from young children whilst comparing them to a female dog and read on.

This week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

Specimen of the Week: Week Ninety-Three

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 22 July 2013

Scary MonkeySeven blogs away from the big 1-0-0! In the run up to the 100th blog I am going to bring to you the top ten specimens at the Grant Museum, as voted for by…. me. I have employed strict criteria with which to segregate the top ten from the other 67,990 specimens that we have in our care…

1) It must not be on permanent display, giving you a little behind-the-scenes magic, if you will, as the specimen will then go on display for the week of which it has been named ‘Specimen’. Oh yes. That’s almost as good as our exhibition It Came From The Stores. Almost.

2) It must have at some point in the past made me say ‘woooo’ out loud (given my childlike disposition for expressing wonderment at the world at large, this is not necessarily a hard qualification for the specimen to achieve)

3) I must know (at least in a vague sort of a way) what species the specimen is, as SotW is researched and written within a strict one hour time frame.

With that in mind, at Number Eight, this week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)