Trip to the Natural History Museum, London

Phil

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Yesterday Melissa and myself met up and went to the Natural History Museum in London. We had a really nice afternoon and saw a few interesting cephy bits and pieces amongst the enormous model scorpions. I'm still undecided if the statue of Sir Richard Owen was in fact the great man encased in carbonite ala Han Solo. But we were lucky enough to see a genuine coelacanth in a jar in the behind-the-scenes tour and some of the actual Beagle specimens collected by Charles Darwin that are not generally shown to the public.

Here's a few photos of some the bits we saw. I apologise that some of them are a little dark and show a lot of flash flare,

The first photo is a rather nice Nautilus specimen.

There is also a nice model Architeuthis suspended from the ceiling in the Marine Invertebrates gallery, a dark photo here, apologies that the quality is not brilliant.

The photo of the jars displays a partially digested Architeuthis head on the left retrieved from the stomach of a Sperm Whale in the fifties. The specimen on the right is a Histioteuthis . I apologise that I failed to record the nature of the beast in the middle.
 

Phil

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In addition, we also have here models of Histioteuthis (life size), a 3x life size Vampyroteuthis and a rather wonderful beast called Arsinoitherium. OK, it's not a cephalopod but a great specimen!
 

um...

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:shock:

I am so freaking jealous.

Phil, the photos seem just fine to me. You aren't making a brochure, are you? :)
 

tonmo

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#6
^^^^ ditto. Thanks for bringing the museum to us!
 

Phil

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I'd say the Archi jar was about 60-70 cm in height, definitely less than a meter. The ceiling Archi is life size and the Arsinoitherium was Hippopotamus sized. If anyone is wondering, that animal was an Oligocene (38-23 mya) herbivore and of the group that led to the elephants, rather than the rhinos. It had two huge horn bones on its nose, I believe that this example comes from Egypt. (I did not take down the particulars, so I may be wrong).
 

Melissa

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#9
Phil, thank you for posting these pictures! Your pictures are terrific, really conjuring the rooms of marine specimens and jogging my memory. The only bad part of the day was that the museum closed at 6!

Melissa
 

Scouse

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#10
looks like you both had a cracker, very cool pic's. Have to go an have at the marine section meself at some point! :biggrin2:

Did you get chance to go to the London Aquarium by any chance?
 

Melissa

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:x There's a London aquarium? Why was this information suppressed? I could have gone from 10 - 1 on Sunday! Must book tickets ...
 

Scouse

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Yeh its just across Westminster Bridge from the Houses of Parliment in a building called County Hall, theres a GPO there aswell but I havnt had chance to go yet, although my friends photos look brilliant!!! Would post some pic's but dont think my mates would appreciate bein all over the internet!! :shock: :lol:

Also if you get chance to go then I recommend you pop up into the Marriot hotel in County Hall (above) an have a glass of :wine: with the best sticky toffee puddin in London :thumbsup: :thumbsup: expensive but worth it for the view from the library over the river :smoke:

oh an theres a gimmiky thing in reception of the aquarium thats a Ford KA turned into a tank full of fan tail goldfish thingys :shock:

There you go theres somthin for your next trip!!!! :)
 

Phil

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Nice pictures, Scouse. Thanks for posting them.

The London Aquarium is a nice day out, I feel a little bad not mentioning it to you, Melissa. I'd forgot, believe it or not, so I apologise! At least the Aquarium is not going anywhere so I'm sure you can go next time.

There is a wonderful cylindrical tank that one can walk around containing rays, sharks and many forms of fish that is quite hypnotic to watch. Seeing a huge ray glide past inches from ones head is an interesting experience. There are tanks full of piranhas and all sorts of Amazonian fish, and even a tank full of jellyfish propelled around in a loop. It's well worth a visit if anyone ventures over to London one of these days. One even gets to stroke a ray in a hands-on-pool!

I did not see a GPO on my last visit a year ago, though there were a few cuttles, and I'm sure there used to be midskippers too. I suppose the animals on display are changed around occasionally.
 

Melissa

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Phil, don't apologize, I hardly had a minute free. Next time, the aquarium will be my first stop.

As you describe it, the aquarium sounds a great deal like the New England Aquarium in Boston. I especially like the petting pool of rays - they are surprisingly soft and seem to like the attention, like puppies.

Melissa
 

joel_ang

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#17
I've touched debarbed blue-spotted stingrays here, they're skin is really smooth and jelly-like. There was a puffer in the touch pool too but that didn't end too well :roll:
 

Scouse

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#18
sorry to trigger your guilt Phil :lol:

well it looks like im goin there next month or the one after anyway, so i'll post a load of pics when I have :biggrin2:
 

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