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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Specimen of the Week 194: The Death’s-Head Hawkmoth

By zcqsrti, on 29 June 2015

The pinned Death's-head hawkmoths. LDUCZ-L1438

The pinned Death’s-head hawkmoths. LDUCZ-L1438

I stand before you to beseech absolution. I confess to my unholy bias in favour of the darker and somewhat supernatural beings of the museum, yet I seek no forgiveness. I will endeavour to one day improve this, and talk about some adorable abomination with darling little eyes and a twee silken coat, but to be honestly forthright, I recoil at the thought. I’ve always found delight in those lacking in vertebral column, often simply regarding the spine itself as excess baggage, hence I rejoice to formally announce that I’m keeping with the creepy invertebrate vibe.

This week’s specimen is most agreeable to the palate of those with a less cute-inclined disposition; with the markings of a demon and the scent of bees, this week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

Specimen of the Week: Week Forty-Six

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 28 August 2012

Scary MonkeyI think it is super to be a pacifist, to cause no harm to the people around you. But this life-strategy may make you an easy target for people on the ‘meaner side of the coin’, and we don’t want that. So how do you ensure a little longevity without kicking your morals to the curb? May I advise deception. There is no need to be aggressive if other people are afraid of you anyway, right? The animal kingdom is full of mimics whose full repertoire of naughtiness extends only as far as pretending to be hard. Be it the sounds, colours, and/or smells of animals with much meaner personalities or hardcore weaponry. One such mimic caught my attention in the Museum. This week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)