“Wanna see something gross?”

Disclaimer: there are gross things in this post (i.e., animal specimens, dissections, and the like). Do not click (or do not scroll down if you already clicked) if you do not want to see. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, sorry for the glare in the photos – the display cases were wholly uncooperative.

MD convinced me to join her at the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy with this argument: “It’s supposed to be a little-known, out-of-the-way find that will either be incredibly cool or incredibly gross.” Of course, that sold me, and of course it was both. When we walked in, the very first thing we saw was a jar of moles; I knew I had made the right choice.

The Waldorf and Statler skeletons... really probably just some regular skeletons on a balcony
The Waldorf and Statler skeletons… really probably just some regular skeletons on a balcony
Micrarium
Micrarium

The free museum is part of the University College London and houses a collection of skeletons and specimens from creatures of all sizes and shapes, some 68,000 in fact. I don’t think all of those were on display, but it’s hard to say. The specimens are organized into broad categories (birds, mammals, etc.), all are labeled and strangely fascinating. There was also a Micrarium where you can see some of the smallest specimens the museum has by using the provided microscopes. The museum has the feel of a working library. There’s a little balcony that goes around the top of the museum, and the grad students (I assume) have draped a couple of skeletons up there, Statler & Waldorf style.

Plesiosaurus - this one reminded me of Han Solo in carbonite.
Plesiosaurus – this one reminded me of Han Solo in carbonite.
Detail of one of the species in the Micrarium
Detail of one of the species in the Micrarium
Various sea creatures
Various sea creatures
Various sea creatures
Various sea creatures
Tiger skeleton
Tiger skeleton
Semionotus
Semionotus
Dodo bird bones
Dodo bird bones
Giant Deer antlers - prehistoric deer were giant, apparently
Giant Deer antlers – prehistoric deer were giant, apparently
Saltwater crocodile skull
Saltwater crocodile skull
Duck-billed platypus skeleton
Duck-billed platypus skeleton

Title quote: Every teenage boy, ever

Hippopotamus foot
Hippopotamus foot
Hawksbill turtles - endangered because of souvenirs.
Hawksbill turtles – endangered because of souvenirs.
Guinea pig skeleton
Guinea pig skeleton
Various large bird eggs from Elephant Bird down to King Penguin.
Various large bird eggs from Elephant Bird down to King Penguin.

Things will get progressively grosser as you scroll down.

Preserved infant manatee
Preserved infant manatee
Box Jellyfish
Box Jellyfish
Rabbit Legs
Rabbit Legs
Dissected monkey head - wishing you hadn't scrolled down, aren't you?
Dissected monkey head – wishing you hadn’t scrolled down, aren’t you?
Labeled dog brain
Labeled dog brain
Surinam Toad - the female keeps her fertilized eggs in pouches on her back until they burst through the skin as froglets
Surinam Toad – the female keeps her fertilized eggs in pouches on her back until they burst through the skin as froglets
Jar of Moles
Jar of Moles
Dissected mouse
Dissected mouse

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