I have recently arrived in the wild lands of London and decided to begin getting acquainted with the city by being a tourist and seeing some museums (typical, fresh of the boat stuff). The Natural History Museum as always is first on the agenda.
To this I decided to invite my classmates to be, wholly expecting maybe one or two people to join. To my pleasant surprise about 10 people responded. Of which 5 people turned up in the end.
The exhibits were meticulously planned and composed allowing clear view of many prehistoric and present day animals. With the dinosaur exhibits it was clear that great care has gone into thinking about posture and movement by scientists over the years, we have come a long way from the 1854 reconstructions at Crystal Palace Park (Darren Naish, 2016) or Neave Parker’s beautiful but now considered factually inaccurate works from the 1960s (Natural History Museum, 2017).
Another exhibit of great interest to the group was the aquatic mammals hall. One person remarked “What is that?!” when looking at the whale skeletons that hung from the ceiling. It would definitely, in my opinion, be difficult for someone to discern what they were looking at if they had never seen a cetacean skeleton before. I suppose this is where rumors of see monsters begin.
When looking at an elephant skull I was reminded of a National Geographic Article that talks about the possibility that Greeks and Romans invented the Cyclops Myth when looking at Elephant bones, and I can understand why (Hillary Mayell, 2003).
All in all it was a great day of drawing the exhibits, getting to know animal anatomy and meeting my classmates.
Naish, D. (2016). The Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace: Among the Most Accurate Renditions of Prehistoric Life Ever Made. [blog] Scientific American. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/page/about-scientific-american/ [Accessed 10 Oct. 2017].
nhm.ac.uk, (2017). What's wrong with these dinosaurs?. [online] Available at: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/whats-wrong-with-these-dinosaur-reconstructions.html [Accessed 10 Oct. 2017].
Mayell, H. (2003). Cyclops Myth Spurred by "One-Eyed" Fossils?. National Geographic News, [online] Daily News. Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/02/0205_030205_cyclops.html [Accessed 10 Oct. 2017].