A jar of moles, half a chimpanzee”s head and the skeleton of a loris: Inside the incredible Grant Museum of Zoology where tens of thousands of animals and insects are preserved
A chimpanzee”s head chopped in half, a glass jar of tiny moles and a small aardvark curled up as if it is just sleeping are just a few of the 67,000 specimens preserved in fluid display at a London museum.
The Grant Museum of Zoology is the only remaining university zoological museum in the city and covers the whole animal kingdom.
Its cabinets are packed with weird and wonderful treasures such as skeletons, mounted animals and specimens.
Weird and wonderful: Treeshrews are small mammals native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and they are part of the collection
Stored for view: Earthworms are preserved in a glass jar as well as a young preserved aardvark which is coiled up in display
Row upon row: A tray of preserved butterflies is displayed
A particular favourite with museum guests is the glass jar filled with 18 tightly-packed moles.
There is also a comparative anatomy collection displaying the differences between the brains of a number of mammals and a reptile.
Each brain is preserved in alcohol and suspended in glass jars with thread.
Popular pieces: There is also a comparative anatomy collection displaying the differences between the brains of a number of mammals and a reptile. Each brain is preserved in alcohol and suspended in glass jars with thread
Double vision: A bisected chimpanzee head is also available for perusal in the extensive collection
History in lines: Specimens are kept in the spirit store at The Grant Museum of Zoology
The brains were collected from Africa, Asia, South America and Australia and Europe.
Many of the species the collection features are now endangered or extinct including the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine, the Quagga, and the Dodo.
The Grant Museum’s two boxes of dodo specimens are from the Mare aux Songes in southeast Mauritius, although its last two stuffed dodos were lost to fire and attack from museum pests.
Hanging around: A chimpanzee (left) and a gibbon skeleton feature in the collection
Skulls: An elephant skull (left) and a tiger skeleton sit side-by-side at The Grant Museum of Zoology
Protected: The vertebrae of a Beak-Nosed whale are kept in bubble-wrap in the dry store
Giant beast: The skeleton of an Indian One-Horned Rhino is pieced together at the museum
The museum was established by Robert Edmond Grant (1793-1874) to serve as a teaching collection at the newly founded University of London, which is now known as University College London.
He was the first Professor of Zoologyand Comparative Anatomy in England.
Wwhen he began his career at the University, he began building up a collection which form the backbone of the museum today.
A particular favourite with museum guests is the glass jar filled with 18 tightly-packed moles, left, which is on display as well as a tiger skeleton, right
As well as the thousands of artifacts, the museum also houses around 20,000 microscope slides.
The collection has being carefully preserved over the years, despite the roof of the museum falling in several times.
During World War Two the collection was evacuated to Bangor.
Robert Grant died of dysenteric shock on 23rd August 1874, but in 1995 the museum was renamed in memory of its founder and moved from the Darwin Building to the a location in the Rockefeller Building.
Eclectic mix: Jars of assorted snakes and sea mice make up part of the collection
Stored away: A primate skeleton is kept in a drawer with other specimens
History on display: The bones of a dodo bird which lived on Mauritius until the 1680s
Reptiles: Jars of assorted snakes are shown in a jar entwined with each other
Rare treasures: Containing 67,000 specimens, the Grant Museum of Zoology is the only one of it”s kind in London
Employee Emma-Louise Nicholls checks the display cabinets at The Grant Museum of Zoology
Not so deadly now: The skeleton of a Loris is shown on a tree branch. Slow lorises are a group of primates from southeast Asia and possess a very rare trait for a mammal – a toxic bite
Difference in size: An Asian elephant skull (right) and a rhino skull are displayed together