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Specimen of the Week 389: The Monarch Butterfly

LisaRandisi16 August 2019

This blog was written by UCL Culture volunteer Melissa Wooding.

Today’s specimen of the week highlights one of the world’s longest animal migrations at 6,000 miles1– completed by an insect!

This beautiful insect has an internal biology including a sundial 2 compass 3, and a gene enabling it to suppress its own ageing and increase its own lifespan 8 times4… all inside a brain the size of a single sesame seed5.

It’s time to give this mind-boggling butterfly its due moment in the spotlight:

Pair of monarch butterflies

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Specimen of the Week 319: The Camberwell Beauty

Hannah LCornish1 December 2017

Specimen of the week this week is a rare visitor to our shores, with a slightly misleading name. Today we venture south of the river in search of…

Nymphalis antiopa (Camberwell Beauty, or the Grand Surprize) LDUCZ-L3333

Nymphalis antiopa (The Camberwell Beauty, the Mourning Cloak or the Grand Surprize) LDUCZ-L3333

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Specimen of the Week 293: The Cockchafer

Rowan J JTinker26 May 2017

The common European cockchafer, Melolontha melonlontha. LDUCZ-L239

The common cockchafer. LDUCZ-L239.

Behold. What divine wings of clumsy bumbletude are brought in on the wind? Mitchamador
Hark. Who buzzes and squeaks betwixt the trees? An Oak-wib
Prod? It is I who takes rest beneath this loamy soil. The Snartlegog

This week’s specimen is…

 

 

 

 

 

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Specimen of the Week: Week 148

Rowan J JTinker11 August 2014

Scary MonkeyZombies aren’t real… or are they? In the world of nature, pretty much anything you come up with already exists: What’s that, a lizard that shoots blood out of its eyes? Yup, that’s been done. What about a toad with babies that burst out its back? Nah, you have to be more creative than that!

But zombies? Practically anything along the subject makes me prance around like a toddler, combine them with one of my other most favourite things in the world – insects –  and I’m a giddy puddle.

Boy, this is a treat for you guys! It’s our first non-zoological specimen of the week. That is, if you don’t count the fact that there’s a dirty great big caterpillar stuck to it, and no, this isn’t a case of the mysterious battery-stuffing opossum maniac up to their usual museum antics again with the Pritt-Stick; the two are fused in a macabre display of harmony, mutual love and zombification.

This specimen of the week is…

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