Dead Animals.

Zoology Museum

Dead animals everywhere, and I loved it! Today, enjoying the new freedom of quick trips into town on my bicycle, I visited the Cambridge Zoology Museum. The museum boasts several million specimens, 2000 of which were the first of their species to be collected for taxonomic classification. The largest specimen in the collection is a whale (I’m sorry to say I’ve forgotten what kind) hanging on the outside of the building!

I made a sweep through to see the plants, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, and insects. Many of the specimens were collected hundreds of years ago and I imagine that the taxidermy on the older ones may have been done by furniture makers, a common practice (…some of them did look rather cushion-like.) I did an informal comparative study of femurs (large, upper, back leg bones) in my sketchbook and watched profs with small clans of students rove from case to case. In a glassed-off side room students appeared to be taking an identification test with small specimens lined up under arm-lamps along lab tables. After a second sweep and cram session in front of the bird case to memorize as many British species as I could, I headed home to work in the studio.

2 Responses to “Dead Animals.”

  1. 1 pam strohl Jan 30th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Hello Natalia (& Burr, too),

    I had fun reading all of your entries. It sounds like an amazing adventure for the body, mind & soul. I loved hearing about herbs, Harry Potter like settings & the museums. I had a friend study in Oxford & it sounds like a way of life we’d like to experience. If you find any stuffed Kipper dolls or paraphenalia, that isn’t outlandishly priced, or impossible to bring back, Sam would love you. It is his current favorite canine. Since it is British, it is harder to get here. Have a wonderful time. Peace & Love to you, Pam Strohl

  2. 2 Sergeant S.W. Foster Mar 20th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    LOL yea, I love dead animals as well.

    Nice photos and blog.

    Sergeant S.W. Foster
    US Army
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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