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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Specimen of the Week 260: the handy man

By Will J Richard, on 7 October 2016

Hello internet! Will Richard here, picking another favourite from the Grant Museum’s shelves. And this time I’ve chosen a close relative and probably the first ape to move beyond punching with rocks. It’s the…

LDUCZ-Z2017 Homo habilis skull model

LDUCZ-Z2017 Homo habilis skull model


Specimen of the Week: Week Forty-Four

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 13 August 2012

Scary Monkey: Week Forty-ThreeAnyone who has seen our recent exhibition It Came from the Stores would now know that past curators have accessioned some pretty strange stuff in to a museum whose banner quite clearly reads ‘zoology’. Maybe with this thought in mind, I was asked recently why we have hominid material in a zoology museum. The definition of zoology is ‘the scientific study of the behaviour, structure, physiology, classification, and distribution of animals’ and animal is described as ‘a living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli’. The un-ticked box for ‘responds rapidly to stimuli’ on my medical would clearly indicate that I am therefore not an animal. However, most? other humans are and so yes, hominids do belong in a museum of zoology. One such specimen in the collection particularly struck me this week, metaphorically speaking, as it lacks enough limb bones to lash out, and I discovered that behind those empty eye sockets is a really interesting history. This week’s specimen of the week is… (more…)