• Jade Hiller

Grants museum of Zoology

Grants Museum of Zoology

I love the natural history museum, but damn, is it busy. It’s starting to become impossible to fight your way through the crowds of hyped up five year olds there to see the dinosaurs. If, like me, you just want to see a good old-fashioned Victorian zoology collection, Grants is the place to visit. It’s stuffed to the rafters, quite literally, with all kinds of taxidermy, skeletons and natural world oddities.

It was established by Robert Grant, a leading anatomist and zoologist. Like most Victorian gentleman he loved collecting things, and zoology was his passion. He founded the collection to teach others about the natural world.

There is so much to see in Grants that I keep meaning to go back and take more pictures, as although it felt as though I was constantly snapping away, I didn’t photograph even a tiny percentage of the collection. It is a fantastic resource for any kind of biology or science student, or someone like me, that needs good drawing references. Below are some of my favourite exhibits.

Moles in a jar. This is one of the museums most well known exhibits. I have no idea why these moles are preserved in a jar and the there was no explanation from the museum either. But you can adopt the moles if you want...?

Above is the antlers and skull of an Irish Elk, a creature that roamed from Ireland all the way to China during the last Ice Age. I cannot describe adequetly just how enormous these antlers are. I tried to capture it the photo but it was just impossible. They are huge, far larger than my arm span. Behind the antlers is a fossilised mammoths tusk.

I always thought dolphins were sinister fuckers, and this skull just confirms it.

The entire skeleton of a walrus.

A crocodile skull. I find crocodiles very aesthetically pleasing. Look at this smooth boi.

A smilodon skeleton. I believe this skeleton is a replica and not an actual skeleton.

A camel skull. You can really see in the photo how stuffed all the cabinets are with fascinating exhibits.

A rhinoceros skeleton. The space in the museum is quite tight, and thus I was not able to step back enough to fit the entire skeleton in the shot, as it is, quite simply, enormous. If you've seen any kind of rhino in the zoo you'll know they can seat six people comfortably on their back.

An elephants skull, which again, I can't put across quite how large it is. if there hadn't been a card describing this as an elephant I would have one hundred per cent assumed this was a cyclops skull. It makes me wonder, looking at an elephants skull, if palaeontologists really replicate how dinosaurs looked accurately.

And to finish, an elephants heart, in a bell jar. As you can imagine, it's many times larger than a human heart.


London, UK


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