NHM Placement Part 4- Zoology


Clare Valentine took us first to the Mollusca corridor

zoology corridor

zoology corridor

This part of the museum is the oldest part still being used for scientific purposes. The mollusc lab and library where Andrea Salvador was sorting Cowrie shells. 

soft at work


Molluscs are often preserved in two parts with the same accession number, the shell will be stored dry and the body will be stored in alcohol.

I met Kathie Way who studies molluscs and is interested in our mollusc collection in Leeds. We have one of the biggest outside London and some of the ones collected by Charles Hanley are type specimens.

We were then taken through the maze of the basement to the Large Vertebrate Store. (formerly known as Zoo Store 1) This room had been completely refurbished in the last couple of years, and I  volunteered with un packing and re-storage of the specimens.

so many fish


On the left you can see the giant tortoises, some of these were collected by Sir Walter Rothschild, whose collection forms the core of the Tring museum’s displays.

While we were in the store we met Ollie Crimmin, one of the fish curators and Chesca from the Angela Marmont Centre who were trying to identify a set of shark jaws that had been sent in.

The AMC is a department within the museum that works with customs and auction houses to ensure that what they are selling is legal, they also take enquiries from the general public and run the ID forums.

Ollie also showed us some fish skin specimens, not very good from a long term point of view, but these mounted skins were a quick and easy way to send lots of specimens to museum.

fish skins

fish skins

And finally Clare took us up mammal tower where the mammal skins, and smaller taxidermy are kept.

8 floors of mammalian fun

Mammal Towers

Cabinet of Canines

Drawer of Dog Skulls

via the buffalo room, which just has racks and racks of horns, and a freezer.

buffalo room

buffalo room

 and so the placement was over, but I will be back at the NHM in January.


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