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Going under the coat of cats

Dean W Veall17 November 2016

Dean Veall here. Whether it’s our late openings, comedy cabaret Animal Showoff, improvised opera, audio cinemas or film nights our events programme aims to entertain, inspire and surprise audiences. Last Wednesday we worked with researchers from UCL and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) to present an event that gave audiences a unique insight into cutting edge research on the evolution of cat anatomy and movement. In Wild Cats Uncovered we took members of the public behind the scenes into the dissection room to discover more about one of the natural world’s fastest predators.

Team cat performing the cheetah post-mortem in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre at the RVC

Team cat performing the cheetah post-mortem in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre at the RVC

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Our 20th Annual Grant Lecturer: Prof. Dame Georgina Mace

Dean W Veall15 November 2016

Last Friday (11 November) was our beloved founder Robert Edmond Grant‘s birthday. Should he have lived (and defied nature) he would have been the grand age of 223. Every year for the last 20 years, since the Museum opened to the public in 1997, we have celebrated REG’s birth with an annual lecture celebrating the great figures of contemporary biology, natural history and history of science. In the past we have had Stephen Jay Gould, Janet Brown, Steve Jones and James Moore give our lecture and most recently UCL Professors such as Anjali Goswami, Paul Upchurch and Helen Chatterjee. This year we are very lucky to have arguably one of the country’s leading ecologists give our 20th Grant Lecture…..

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Specimen of the Week 261: Bombus

Dean W Veall14 October 2016

LDUCZ-L3309 Bumblebee (Bombus sp.)

LDUCZ-L3309 Bumblebee (Bombus sp.)

Dean Veall here. My specimen of the week is one that was a feature of the summer but will now become a less common sight as the winter approaches. It’s a specimen that represents some 275 species found across the genus Bombus and of which 24 call the UK home. This week’s specimen of the week is….

 

 

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Specimen of the Week 257: Baboon skeleton

Dean W Veall16 September 2016

Yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) skeleton LUCDZ- Z474

Yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) skeleton LUCDZ- Z474

Dear Specimen of the Week readers, Dean Veall here. This week’s specimen is literally skin and bones (obvs) . I’ve chosen an articulated skeleton and during my research I’ve also uncovered a pelt of the same species in our collection, but do they belong to the same individual. This week’s specimen of the week is the…..

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Specimen of the Week 246: King Scallop model

Dean W Veall1 July 2016

Hello Hello, Dean Veall here. This week I bring you a snappy little character, well not exactly little, this is the KING of all snappy characters of a mollusc based persuasion. The king scallop (Pecten maximus) is this week’s Specimen of the Week.

LDUCZ-Q330 - King scallop model (Pecten maximus)

LDUCZ-Q330 – King scallop model (Pecten maximus)

 

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Specimen of the Week 240: Porcupine quills

Dean W Veall20 May 2016

LDUCZ-Z2237 Porcupine quills

LDUCZ-Z2237 Porcupine quills

Hello all, Dean Veall here. This week I bring you my specimen of the week. I can imagine what you’re wondering… has Dean chosen some sticks from the highly popular children’s game Ker-plunk? Has the acquisitions policy at the Grant Museum gone out the window? Well look closer dear reader, and you will see that these are in fact quills from a porcupine!

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Specimen of the Week 234: Jar of Earthworms

Dean W Veall11 April 2016

Hello to you all out there on the interwebs. Dean Veall here. My specimen of the week is another in the ‘Jar Of’ series, admittedly a series of one so far, but a series. Right. This is a bit of delayed SoTW due to the enforced shut down of Grant Museum Towers by our beloved overlords, so apologies if you missed your regular Friday fix. This week’s Specimen of the Week is…..

Jar of earthworms LDUCZ-G281

Jar of earthworms LDUCZ-G281

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Specimen of the Week 228: Rough-nosed horned lizard

Dean W Veall26 February 2016

Rough-nosed lizard (Ceratophora aspera) LDUCZ-X431

Rough-nosed lizard (Ceratophora aspera) LDUCZ-X431

Hello Specimen of the Week fans, Dean Veall here. We’re mixing it up with our weekly specimen blogs, publishing on Fridays and making them shorter and snappier. So here goes. My main motivation for choosing this specimen is the pure patriotism of a Welsh man exiled here in London. How, you may ask, does this small lizard indigineous to Sri Lanka invoke the land of my fathers, green valleys, cawl and industrial heritage? It be a dragon……

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Specimen of the Week 216: European Plaice

Dean W Veall30 November 2015

Hello dear Specimen of the Week readers, Dean Veall here. This week I shall be bringing you a very fishy (again) Specimen of the Week, how can I possibly top the three toothed pufferfish you may be asking yourself? Well, I believe I have for two very good reasons. Firstly the fish I have chosen is one of the asymmetrical marvels of the natural world. Secondly, has one of the most curmudgeonly comical faces of all animals (I challenge you to find me an animal that beats this specimen). And finally, has recently featured in the events that have accompained our Glass Delusions exhibition. This week’s Specimen of the Week is…..

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Specimen of the Week 207: Threetoothed pufferfish

Dean W Veall28 September 2015

LDUCZ-V1552 Triodon macropterus

LDUCZ-V1552 Triodon macropterus

Hello Specimen of the Week readers. Dean Veall here. I’ve chosen a specimen that’s often caught my eye but I was never too sure about what type of fish it actually was. It is possibly the specimen in the Museum with the least representative name. I give you this week’s Specimen of the Week …. (more…)