Monday, March 18, 2013

Natural History

Have been slacking in the twitching front of late but did manage to get out and enjoy some natural history none-the-less. Our first trip was to Gilbert White's house in Hampshire. We were really impressed with this historical home and the Captain Oates collection. I highly recommend a visit here.

Our next excursion was to the Natural History Museum in London. This fantastic venue needs no introduction from me. Its amazing. Go see it. While we were there we attended one of Nature Live Talks at the David Attenborough Studio; this covered the life history of the Tuatara.

We also had some luck; and got picked with five other people to go on a unique visit to the basement of the museum. Here we got to see a huge room full of specimens from snakes and fish to mammals and lizards. There was, however, two surprises. The first was a cabinet full of small specimens. At first glance they seemed the same as all the others; but on closer inspection they were very different and special. The labels read C. Darwin - The Beagle. I was absolutely blown away and felt very privileged to look upon these historical artifacts.

The second surprise was much bigger. Much! Not surprising as it was the intact specimen of Archie the Giant Squid.  We were not allowed to photograph in the basement but I have found a few links which might be of interest. Our science educator was really informative and did a fantastic job explaining the history of the museum.


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