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Re: OXFORD MUSEUM



From: Rachel A Hyde

Hi Darren

I spent my childhood and teenage years in Oxford and the museum was my
favorite place there - I miss it a lot and I can see that it has added to
its already awesome collection.  Did you go next door to the Pitt Rivers
Museum as well?  This is an anthropological department which conjured up for
me what the less developed parts of the world must have been like in the
19th century more than a whole stack of textbooks.

Does the museum have a website now?  I too admire the way it has remained
unspoilt and opted out of the horrible plastic exhibits that most museums
think "modern" people have to have or refuse to go in.

If anybody on this list finds themselves in Oxford then even if you don't
see anything else the University Museum is a must.

rachelahyde@ntlworld.com

----- Original Message -----
From: <darren.naish@port.ac.uk>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 6:18 PM
Subject: OXFORD MUSEUM


> I spent yesterday at Oxford University's Natural History Museum:
> Dave Martill and I went there to photograph _Iguanodon_ bones sent
> to Buckland from the Isle of Wight, but we ended up having a look at
> everything in the whole musem. It was spectacular - not just because
> they have such wonders as mounted specimens of
> _Eustreptospondylus_, _Camptosaurus (=_Cumnoria) preswitchii_
> (both of which have been remounted and are in new postures), a cast of
> the proposed _Iguanodon bernissartensis_ neotype, the immense lower
> jaw of _Liopleurodon (=_Stretosaurus_) macromerus_ and casts of
> the Ashmolean's dodo - but also because they've now added loads of
> new dinosaur exhibits. Among these are a complete _Tyrannosaurus
> rex_ skeleton, the skull of 'Stan', an _Anatotitan_ skull, a mounted
> _Edmontosaurus_, an ornithomimid skeleton (labelled as
> _Struthiomimus sedens_), a lifesize _Utahraptor_ model and, to my
> utter astonishment, the skeleton of _Bambiraptor_ (which they have
> labelled as _Velociraptor feinbergi_). There are lifesize high-detail
> models of _Acanthostega_, _Compsognathus_ and _Archaeopteryx_ -
> I forget the name of the artist but his work is well known and much
> publicised (he is best known for his Palaeozoic fish). A new specimen
> of _Peloneustes_ is laid out in a case in the disarticulated pose in
> which it was found. I spent lots of time looking closely at
> _Eustreptospondylus_: you can't look that closely, because it's in a
> glass case and the skull has been restored, thus making it hard to see
> where the real bone stops and starts, but it *appears* as if there's a
> notch between the premaxilla and maxilla. Would have to handle the
> thing before being sure about that. In the collections we looked at an
> _Iguanodon_ collected from Sussex by David Cooper: judging from
> the femur it is probably the biggest _Iguanodon_ I've ever seen - am
> still trying to do the maths but the animal was probably around 15 m
> long. I'll work it out properly when the photos are developed.
>
> The museum isn't full of the computerised interactive nonsense that
> most places now spend their money on: it is instead full of dead things,
> which is the way museums should be. There are innumerable mounted
> skeletons of mammals, stuffed birds, hundreds of pinned insects and
> loads of life-size models of fishes, reptiles and amphibians. If you are
> interested in zoology, palaeontology or the history of biological
> collections, it is an absolute must.
>
> DARREN NAISH
> PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
> School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
> UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
> Burnaby Building
> Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
> Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
> P01 3QL