Showing posts with label Grant Museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grant Museum. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Grant Museum

Going to a museum in the school holidays means two things.
One, they're a lot busier, but
two, they put on special events.

Like at the Grant Museum in half term which put out a table of objects to touch.
The great thing about handling objects is that you get to turn things upside-down.
Very different from seeing them in glass cases.

Like the Horseshoe crab,

 a hedgehog.

 and a Dogfish.

Next time you get to touch a dried Dogfish, try running your fingers up and down the skin.
It is covered in tiny hooks a bit like velcro.
From head to tail, your fingers will run smoothly down the skin,
from tail to head, your fingers will get stuck on all the tiny hooks. We tried this, it worked.

Some things are a little too fragile to picked up, though but you can still get pretty close.

 For those of you that don't know, the Grant Museum is a zoological museum,
part of UCL, London.

We've been visiting regularly for a few years and love it.
Years ago in their old building the Giant Spider crab captured my son's imagination and on first visiting the new building, we had to check it was still there. It was.

There some truly weird and wonderful specimens.

Like the Surinam Toad whose babies burst out through her skin,

and this model of an elephant's heart, "bigger than my head".

Keeping with the elephant theme,
we were truly perplexed by this cast of an Elephant Bird egg on the left. 

So the egg to its right is an Ostrich egg and we know how tall Ostriches are, taller than me. I saw one in the Horniman recently, see it on my previous post, here.
"How tall must the Elephant Bird have been?"
Actually my friends language was a little more flowery than that, expressing sheer incredulity. You can see from our reflections how big the egg was. Sadly we'll never see the real bird for ourselves as they were hunted to extinction in Madagascar in the 1700s.

Back to more believable bird sizes, we chat about penguins.
"Even the eggs are so sweet."

Now what the Grant Museum has got that I have never seen anywhere else, is a collection of slides, 20,000 microscopic slides.

Where you can discover even more about Dogfish, their embryos,

and mice, embryo necks, the left sides.

We're not the first.
But it's a great opportunity for a #museumselfie.

We're not the only ones having a little fun with/in museums.
This jar of moles has its own Twitter account.

But watch your behaviour, surveillance measures have been put in place,
we're know we're being watched.

The Grant Museum is a real treasure.
Open Monday to Saturday, 1-5pm.
Details on their website, here.
Follow the @GlassJarOfMoles on their Twitter account, here.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Weird creatures

The Armadillo in my last blog post,
you can read it here,
has surely captured my imagination.

The more I think about it:
...the nose, like a rat?
...the ears, cute?
...the shell, comfortable?
...having hard shell down the front of your face, odd?
...the claws, huge?
...the tummy, hairy?
...rolling into a ball, very clever?

Well I found another... the Grant Museum.
Here's what the Armadillo looks like underneath the shell, the skeleton.
This one has a much longer tail.
The colour of the shell could have faded with the light over time.
Sorry not a great quality photo.

Just to keep the weird creature theme going...

...I present the Elephant Shrew,

related to both the elephant and the mole.

This photo, with its reflection, of a table full of books alongside the labels,
makes me think he looks like he works in a bank.

Do you know of any weird creatures?
Please leave a comment and where to find them.

These two are to be found at the Grant Museum, an amazing zoological museum,
open afternoons, not Sundays.

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