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Specimen of the week 264: the golden hamster

Will JRichard4 November 2016

Hello e-people. Will Richard here and it’s specimen of the week time again. And this week I’ve gone for a chubby-cheeked favourite. There are about 400,000 of these charming little creatures kept as pets in the UK alone. That’s right it’s the…

LDUCZ-Z713 golden hamster skeleton

LDUCZ-Z713 golden hamster skeleton

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Specimen of the Week 191 : Rhamphorhynchus wing cast

Tannis M NDavidson8 June 2015

LDUCZ-X842 Rhamphorhynchus wing cast

LDUCZ-X842 Rhamphorhynchus wing cast

One of my favourite pastimes is to do a bit of research – on just about anything. I enjoy investigative work and the process of discovery.  Luckily, the nature of my work at the Grant Museum ensures that there are plenty of opportunities to do museum-detective work. It could be a case of matching up an archival record with an unaccessioned specimen or figuring out a valid taxonomic name for a mysterious beast in a jar.

It is both a burden and a blessing to work with historic collections which have varying degrees of documentary information: while it would be preferable to have more/most/all information about an object, gaps in the data allow for additional research and new discoveries.

Recently I was doing some research on another Grant Museum Rhamphorhynchus specimen and one thing led to another…and another…and another. It turns out that there is a lot of history behind this week’s SOTW – and although it is ‘only’ a plaster cast – it is part of a famous lineage of one of the most famous fossil finds!

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