A jar of moles, half a chimpanzee's head and the skeleton of a loris: Inside the incredible Grant Museum of Zoology where tens of thousands of animals


Row upon row: A tray of preserved butterflies is displayed

A chimpanzee's head chopped in half, a glass jar of tiny moles and a small aardvark curled up as if it is just sleeping are just a few of the 67,000 specimens preserved in fluid display at a London museum.
The Grant Museum of Zoology is the only remaining university zoological museum in the city and covers the whole animal kingdom.
Its cabinets are packed with weird and wonderful treasures such as skeletons, mounted animals and specimens.

History in lines: Specimens are kept in the spirit store at The Grant Museum of Zoology

A particular favourite with museum guests is the glass jar filled with 18 tightly-packed moles.
There is also a comparative anatomy collection displaying the differences between the brains of a number of mammals and a reptile.
Each brain is preserved in alcohol and suspended in glass jars with thread.

Skulls: An elephant skull (left) and a tiger skeleton sit side-by-side at The Grant Museum of Zoology

The brains were collected from Africa, Asia, South America and Australia and Europe.
Many of the species the collection features are now endangered or extinct including the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine, the Quagga, and the Dodo.
The Grant Museum’s two boxes of dodo specimens are from the Mare aux Songes in southeast Mauritius, although its last two stuffed dodos were lost to fire and attack from museum pests.

Giant beast: The skeleton of an Indian One-Horned Rhino is pieced together at the museum

The museum was established by Robert Edmond Grant (1793-1874) to serve as a teaching collection at the newly founded University of London, which is now known as University College London.
He was the first Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy in England.
Wwhen he began his career at the University, he began building up a collection which form the backbone of the museum today.

Stored away: A primate skeleton is kept in a drawer with other specimens

As well as the thousands of artifacts, the museum also houses around 20,000 microscope slides.
The collection has being carefully preserved over the years, despite the roof of the museum falling in several times.
During World War Two the collection was evacuated to Bangor.
Robert Grant died of dysenteric shock on 23rd August 1874, but in 1995 the museum was renamed in memory of its founder and moved from the Darwin Building to the a location in the Rockefeller Building.

History on display: The bones of a dodo bird which lived on Mauritius until the 1680s

Rare treasures: Containing 67,000 specimens, the Grant Museum of Zoology is the only one of it's kind in London

Employee Emma-Louise Nicholls checks the display cabinets at The Grant Museum of Zoology

Not so deadly now: The skeleton of a Loris is shown on a tree branch. Slow lorises are a group of primates from southeast Asia and possess a very rare trait for a mammal - a toxic bite

source: dailymail