The Grant Museum of Zoology is one of my favourites in London. The building is very near the Euston UCL campus, which to my mind is about as quintessential as London university buildings get (although my own alma meter, Goldsmiths, looked nothing like this!). Anyway, as we know, I love animals and I am passionate about animal rights so the Museums slant on ecology and biodiversity is perfect for me.
One of the most emotive exhibits is on extinct animals which includes the fur and skeleton of a thylacine – otherwise known as the Tasmanian Tiger. This animal went in extinct in the 1930s and remarkably we have video footage which I’ve linked below. I remember first seeing this short video when I was about 16 and basically weeping for hours; I was so moved to be seeing an animal that simply no longer existed and will never walk the earth again. I find it so upsetting to think of how many thousands of years it takes for each species of animal to evolve, and in the short time we’ve been around we are just watching species die. It’s those thoughts that enforce my resolve to try and live in a green and ethical way.
I was also really interested in the wall of slides. As the description said there are tons and tons of creatures that are too small to house in a cabinet so a slide makes more sense; in practise the wall of slides is overwhelming to look at! The slide that stuck out most to me was this one of “helobdella stagnalis”. It’s a species of leech so not the most instagrammable, but I was weirdly moved by the mother leech and her babies on the slide alongside the description that babies were “carried”.
On a side note, these images are the first featuring my new lens! I also just wanted to mention my readers blog survey – if you haven’t taken part there’s just one week left to tell me what you think and I’d be so grateful!