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  • My name's Jon Ablett, I'm a curator here at the Natural History Museum

  • and my speciality is molluscs.

  • Molluscs, that's quite a diverse group of animals.

  • It includes things like slugs and snails, squid and octopus,

  • bivalves, clams, mussels and oysters.

  • All these groups of animals, although they're quite different,

  • are called molluscs.

  • When the building was built in 1881, the whole idea of it

  • was the building was gonna be a cathedral to nature,

  • and I think you can really get a sense of that as you look around here.

  • It's very churchlike.

  • You have about 78 million specimens in the NHM,

  • from animals, plants, insects, rocks, minerals, fossils

  • and everything in between.

  • One of my favourite things is the building itself.

  • It's all the beautiful carvings that are on the walls and on the ceiling.

  • There's a lovely little fact that on the left-hand side of the building

  • all the carvings of the animals and plants are of living animals,

  • and on the right-hand side of the building they're all extinct animals.

  • This is one of my favourite parts of the museum.

  • I walk past it on my way into work every day.

  • I'm not an expert in fossils or dinosaurs.

  • I just really love them. One of the really iconic

  • specimens here

  • that everyone remembers when they come for a day out is our blue whale.

  • I love the fact that you get to see the skeleton as well,

  • not just the model but they've got the bones above.

  • And you can see it's a mammal,

  • you can see that it's got a mammalian-type bone structure,

  • something you completely miss when you see the rest of the body.

  • Behind the scenes we actually have lots of specimens

  • collected by Charles Darwin on his 1831 Beagle voyage.

  • You can see lots of them have yellow paint on them,

  • which actually signifies these were the first specimens

  • of this species that were ever discovered.

  • I think my favourite specimen that was donated

  • was from some fishermen in 2004 who caught a giant squid off the coast of the Falkland Islands.

  • They donated it to the museum here on condition we put it on display.

  • The museum's based in South Kensington.

  • It's quite a rich area. There's lots to do round here.

  • We've got the V&A, we've got the Science Museum,

  • we've got the Royal Albert Hall

  • and, of course, we've got Hyde Park behind us.

  • Just like the Natural History Museum,

  • where every time you come and visit you see something new,

  • I think that's the same with London.

  • Every time you visit, every time you walk around,

  • you see something you'd never noticed before.

  • You see new places, you get new experiences

  • and it really is an amazing place.

My name's Jon Ablett, I'm a curator here at the Natural History Museum

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B1 UK museum natural history building favourite squid donated

The London Story - Natural History Museum

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    Una Li posted on 2016/08/02
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