Museum’s long-running taxidermy exhibition to shut

Senior sciences curator Kate Phillips, who helped create Wild, says the exhibition’s recognition has largely been as a consequence of its simplicity.

Set on tiers towards a stark white background, the animals and reptiles are stars of their very own present. The exhibition is separated into sections for every continent, and interactive shows permit guests to study every animal’s habitat, the threats they face from local weather change and habitat destruction, and their vulnerability to extinction.

A taxidermied lion, part of the Melbourne Museum animal exhibit, <i>Wild.

A taxidermied lion, a part of the Melbourne Museum animal exhibit, Wild. Credit score:Joe Armao

For years conservators have been struggling to guard the specimens, a few of that are greater than 130 years previous, within the open air.

“They have been combating a extremely tough battle as a result of what occurs with specimens which can be on open show is that they’re very weak to getting infested with issues like garments moths,” Ms Phillips stated.

“The bugs truly eat the specimens, so the specimens regularly begin to disintegrate … It has been fairly a problem and we have needed to take away just a few specimens which have had fairly dangerous infestations.”

Unhappy Otter has been one near-casualty, having been faraway from show and handled in 2017 after turning into infested with different carpet beetle larvae – one other widespread museum pest.

A panda is among the taxidermied animals in the museum's long-running  exhibition.

A panda is among the many taxidermied animals within the museum’s long-running exhibition.Credit score:Joe Armao

After Wild is dismantled on the finish of January, the 750 specimens will go right into a deep freeze for 2 weeks to kill any insect infestations, Ms Phillips stated, earlier than being preserved behind glass within the museum’s huge storage space for posterity.

The announcement sparked an outpouring of dismay amongst museum-goers on social media on Wednesday afternoon.

Johnny Regan, who took his 11-month-old son Tadhg to see Wild on Wednesday, stated he was happy he’d managed to get one final take a look at the exhibition.

“There’s loads of animals I hadn’t seen in there earlier than,” he stated. “It is a pity it is closing, now.”

A Tasmanian tiger at the museum also appears to have a curious expression.

A Tasmanian tiger on the museum additionally seems to have a curious expression.Credit score:Joe Armao

Changing the “lifeless zoo” will probably be a brand new set up that has the scientific group abuzz: an 87 per cent full fossil of an grownup Triceratops horridus, together with its cranium and backbone.

The specimen is so well-preserved, pores and skin impressions and tendons are nonetheless seen.

Senior palaeontology curator Erich Fitzgerald described the fossible because the “Rosetta Stone” of palaeontology.

“Regardless of its recognition, there are nonetheless many unanswered questions concerning the anatomy and palaeobiology of Triceratops,” Dr Fitzgerald stated.

“This will probably be one among a handful of Triceratops skeletons on show world wide by which all bones, from the cranium to the tip of the tail, are from one particular person animal.”


The Triceratops was found in 2014 on a non-public property in Montana, USA.

Wild: Wonderful animals in a altering world will probably be on present till January 26.

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