Tuesday, 16 February 2016

More than a Dodo

It's half term this week and we were in Oxford, so couldn't resist a visit to the Natural History Museum. It's such a cool building, both inside and outside and is a great museum for kids.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History - Swifts nest in the ventilation
flues in the tower each summer, which you can watch on webcams.
Inside the large central area is full of gothic arches and has a high glass
ceiling. It feels almost like you're standing inside a giant whale skeleton!

The dinosaurs are always a big hit, especially the ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex with its huge teeth. Apparently T-rex had the strongest bite of any land animal that ever lived.

T-Rex: what big teeth you have!
The kids couldn't resist sticking their heads in the mouth of the model and comparing the size of their hands. They even had a go at roaring like a dinosaur!

We met the Oxford Dodo, which was actually a type of pigeon. I always thought that man hunted Dodos for food (they were flightless birds so were easy prey) until they became extinct. Apparently they tasted awful though and it was actually the cats and dogs that men brought with them to the islands that wiped them out.

As dead as a Dodo!
There were plenty of butterflies and beetles to keep Bug Mad Girl happy and they even had some live beasties (cockroaches and tarantulas) which she would have loved to hold.

Some of the amazing beetles on display
The skeleton parade made a really stunning display, with two rows of six skeletons. The two skeletons at the front were a polar bear on the left and a pig on the right. They appeared to be very similar in size which was a real surprise.

Skeleton Parade

The pig from the skeleton parade

The skeleton parade from above
It was great to see loads of things to touch and feel, including different minerals, a 4.5 billion year old meteorite, ammonites and stuffed animals.



We couldn't touch this long eared bat, as it was far to delicate, but what a great view of such a wonderful creature.

We finished off by looking around the Wytham Woods display, which included lots of very old fashioned equipment.

So glad we visited ... definitely more to the museum than just a Dodo!

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