Object of the Week – 27/06/13

What connects four renaissance painters with Hoppegarten and Grünheide in Germany?


Did you know what last week’s object of the week was?

Ammonite - Dactylioceras commune

Well done if you recognised the model shown in last week’s photo was an Ammonite. These extinct molluscs are a sister group to the living Nautilus, and range in size from a few centimetres across to ones as tall as a human! Ammonites are named after the ram-headed Egyptian god Amun, as the ribbed coils of an Ammonite shell look like the horns of a Ram.

The Museum has many examples of Ammonites on display; the specimen shown here is a Dactylioceras, which was a very widespread genus in the time of the dinosaurs. Examples of it have been found in all parts of the world.

The names of this genus comes from the Greek word dactyl which means “finger”, and refers to the branching ribs; If you look closely on the outsde of the shell you can see where the ribs split into two.

Object of the Week – 20/06/13

Below is the recreation model of an extinct creature – can you name the fossil it leaves behind?

Name that fossil!


Did you know what last week’s object of the week was?

Norwegian Lemming (Lemmus lemmus)

Well done if you knew our featured object last week was a Lemming! These small rodents have short tails and long fur to conserve heat in the Tundra regions where they live. They feed mainly on grasses and remain active instead of hibernating through the harsh winters. Despite their small size they have quite an aggressive nature.

Lemmings breed quickly, so their population can rapidly increase to unsustainable levels before plummeting. Lemmings are forced to migrate in large numbers, even if great risk is involved. This has led to them having a rather ill founded reputation.

Object of the Week – 13/06/13

Our object this week is a small furry animal with an ill founded reputation. Do you know what it is?


Did you know what last week’s object of the week was?

Cockchafer (or May bug)

Well done if you knew that our featured object last week was a Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha). They beetles are sometimes called May bugs because this is when they tend to eappear, but the cold weather this year has delayed their emergence.

Identification forums in May/June always have several people asking what this strange brown beetle is that has flown in their window at night. The adults are about an inch long and have beautiful fan-like antennae.

Their larvae are large white grubs that feed underground on plant roots and can take up to five years to develop. Cockchafers used to be much more abundant and were common agricultural pests in the UK.

Object of the Week – 06/06/13

You may have had a close encounter with one of these recently. Do you know what it is? 


Did you know what last week’s object of the week was?



Well done if you recognised our Axolotl from the photo last week.

Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are a critically endangered species of Salamander that are only found in one lake in Mexico.

Unlike most other amphibians they can reach maturity without undergoing metamorphosis. They retain their external gills and have the ability to regenerate limbs!