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Established in 1827 by Robert Edmund Grant, the Grant Zoological Museum is a secret gem in the heart of London. Robert Grant was the first professor of zoology in Britain and took a job at the University College London to teach. Shocked with the lack of teaching materials and specimens to conduct research with, he started his own collection of species to aid his students in their learning. Upon his death, he donated his entire assembly of species to the UCL museum. His collection is the foundation of the museum's now over 68,000 preserved species in the building, making it one of the oldest zoological archives in Britain. It is an incredible museum in London to visit with the kids for a fun, unique day out at no extra cost.
Feast your eyes on some of the world's most rare specimens, including the only quagga skeleton in the UK. A quagga is a zebra-like animal which is now extinct, but even the remains of this animal are incredibly rare, with only seven full skeletons remaining on the planet! Other impressive bone collections include the dodo remains, the large African rock python skeleton and a very cool skull of a Great Deer from the Ice Age. These things are fascinating to look at and will give you a greater understanding of the world of zoology.
It's not just about bones at the Grant Zoological Museum, the extensive collection of fluid-suspended species is something to seek out. From the crowded jar of moles to the creepy yet fascinating brain collection, there is so much to discover. Keep your eyes peeled for the amazing Negus Collection of Bisected Heads. Get right into the mind of a zoologist by inspecting the anatomy of animals like sloths, seals, pangolins, chimps and more.
Contrasting with the displays of giant skeletons and large suspended species, take in some microscopic mini-beast magic at the Micrarium. An old office in the building has been transformed into a backlit chamber that displays 20,000 microscope slides containing some of the tiniest animals in existence. As well as small creatures, this area of the museum shows close microscopic detail of other parts of animals such as the tooth of a platypus and the hair of a mammoth. It is so interesting to see the breakdown of what makes up these large and regal animals.
The Grant Museum of Zoology also holds temporary exhibitions in addition to the permanent collection on view. Notable shows include the Displays of Power, Art By Animals, Glass Delusions and more. There is always something fresh and exciting going on here, so be sure to schedule some time in one of these temporary displays during your visit to learn things you can't find anywhere else.
This university museum of zoology is a brilliant resource for those interested in biology or veterinary studies. Many students of UCL use this museum as a source of information for their research, so there is always something exciting happening. The Lunch Hour Lectures given by guest speakers or internal professors cover everything from new discoveries to basic biology that children and parents alike will find interesting.
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University College LondonShow more
Consistently noted as one of the best universities in the UK and top universities in the world, University College London (UCL) is situated in the Bloomsbury area in the heart of London. UCL was founded on 11 February 1826 by a group of leading intellectuals, including James Mill and Henry Brougham, as an alternative to Cambridge and Oxford, the only two universities present in England at the time. The university was the first to be established in London, under the name of London University. The aim of the university was to open up education for students of any religion or race for the first time in England. The university was also the first to accept women to study on equal terms to men.
An iconic example of English architecture, the main building of UCL on Gower Street was designed by architect William Wilkins, who also designed the National Gallery in 1831, and construction started in 1827.
The multidisciplinary university in London now employs more than 11,000 staff and has over 39,000 students from 150 different countries. Established in 1827 as part of UCL, the Grant Museum of Zoology is the last remaining university zoological museum in London and one of the UK’s oldest natural history collections. Open to members of the public, the museum has approximately 68,000 zoological specimens. Part of UCL Culture, The Petrie Museum, UCL Art Museum, Bloomsbury Theatre & Studio and The Octagon also bring the arts, culture and specialised sciences to a broader audience.
Image © University College London.