Skull of the Month: the Hippo

Photo I took of the Hippo at the Grant Museum.

Photo I took of the Hippo at the Grant Museum.

Last month I decided not to do a ‘Skull of the Month‘ and I think that I’m going to make this one my last. This is because whilst I have enjoyed learning about animals and their bones I have found it difficult at times to find good material to read and report. Instead I intended to focus on cases studies of human pathology in the archaeological record. If I then come across interesting articles relating to animals and their bones I’ll include that too.

For this final Skull of the Month I have chosen the hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius). These mammals are incredible animals with a huge amount of power and strength. There’s no particular reason why I chose the hippo other than they are one of the most dangerous animals in the world and that I have a picture of a hippo skull which I took on my visit to the Grant Museum last month.

Visit the page here.

My Trip to the Grant Museum, London

Lion Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

Lion Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

Today I had an interview in London and as it was in the morning I thought why not visit a museum on my way home?! I was already coming back on the Northern Line and knew that it went through Euston, where the Grant Museum is located. I have wanted to visit this museum for a while but as it is slightly out of the centre, and the other touristy parts of London I hadn’t managed to make it there yet.

It’s a very cute museum with specimens held in wooden cases which span the wall of the museum. It is only one room, and for the amount of space they have the specimens are shown off very well. There are skeletons, skulls and wet specimens of all sorts of creatures spanning the animal kingdom and of all shapes and sizes. I don’t know if I had a particular favourite but it was pretty awesome that they had a complete skeleton of a dugong. I think one of the most incrediable skulls that i saw was of a domestic pig. It didn’t say the particular breed of pig but it was impressive none the less!

Dugong Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

Dugong Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

I took a few photos of some of the specimens which you can find on my tumblr page. I also took some photos of the Micrarium, a small alcove which presents hundreds of microscope slides of the smallest animals. They were wonderful to look at and reminds you of how intricate biology is and how beautiful creatues can be, even if we can barely see them.

I would recommend anyone who has an interest in biology and/or zoology to visit the museum. It’s quiter and smaller than the better known Natural History Museum but it’s just as wonderful!

Visit both my tumblr posts to see pictures of the Micraraium and other speimens in the musem. Hopefully some of them will be featuring in future Skull of the Months!