And so we return to the series of posts on non-frozen, but still anatomically awesome, specimens from the RVC’s Anatomy Museum. Refer to posts on dissections, skulls and the introduction if you missed the last three.
Today is for the birds. Feel free to cry fowl if you feel this post is a poultry sum of images. Oh I could go on with lame puns, but I am merciful…
We’ll start with what is presumably not a Norwegian Blue; presumably neither resting and certainly bereft of beautiful plumage, but nonetheless a remarkable bird and great fodder for a wide range of silly jokes:
Which provides us with a segue into our series of nicely mounted skeletons of domestic poultry, first with the super-sized American variety termed Meleagris:
And then with the less titanic but still impressive, fast-growing, large-breasted Gallus:
Which is a reminder of the non-defunct poultry that the RVC maintains, including a sporadic series of chickens that our lab hosts for our research (blog to come soon!), first shown in the fluffy 2 week old stage:
And what a difference 2 weeks makes!
But back to the museum. Perhaps in sympathy for the plight of broiler chickens, a local raptor hangs, wings akimbo, to display various external features:
Plodding along, and missing the cranial end of the skeleton in this photo (in John’s typical photography/research style; d’oh!) is a nice big Maribou stork:
Nearby there is an ostrich pelvis for a similar comparison as in the latter post. And not far from that is a nice view of an ostrich foot, along with other birds’ feet in a display on perching/pedal adaptations:
These ratite displays remind me of our emu flock that we are maintaining (not at the museum!), which is 13 strong at the moment and very cute at ~8 weeks of age (intriguingly, a similar ~3kg body mass to a 6-week old broiler chicken! But much leggier.):
If you happen to visit the Anatomy Museum to peruse plastinated poultry or oggle other oddities, save time for a stroll to the nearby Grant Museum of Zoology; one of London’s greatest natural history treasures (edit- see recent TetZoo blog post on this) — and one that is drenched in history. Great flightless bird exhibits, too, such as this kiwi:
Or a stunning assortment of dodo bones:
Or, coming full circle, an emu (or so I think… naughty John’s headless-photo bias at play again!).
And the emu will escort you to the exit. Thanks for visiting! We’re nearing the end of this series, so I hope you have enjoyed it.