Posts Tagged 'Dublin'


Thanks to the historical associations between Ireland and the UK, the Dublin Museum has some really great pieces that you would not necessarily expect. I found this in their collections and was delighted to do so. It’s a cast of the original Hylaeosaurus a little known armoured dinosaur but one with an important history. This specimen was found (or at least made it’s way into science) by the legendary Gideon Mantell and was one of just three dinosaurs that Richard Owen put into his newly erected clade ‘Dinosauria’. Yes this really is one of *the* original dinosaurs.

What I really like about this (aside from it being quite a cool specimen) is the lovely work on the cast. it’s well painted, and beautifully mounted in it’s wooden frame which has exquisite lettering. This is from a time when money was no object to scientists and even something destined for a storeroom would be mounted and treated this well. Ah, those were the days….


National Museum of Ireland: Natural History

I’ve now been in Dublin long enough to have taken a quick trip to the natural history building of the National Museum of Ireland. It is a classic Victorian style museum, lots of wooden cabinets and specimens behind glass – no computer terminals here. The downside is naturally that things can look a bit run down and crammed in, the upside is that there is a huge collection of material in a small building and if you like classical anatomy and bones then this kind of place is fantastic.

Sadly the upper floors and balconies are currently closed (and could be for a long time) awaiting repair but the main floor of Ireland animals and first floor of mammals of the world are open and great. There are great things in there like the giant elk Megaloceros, a stuffed basking shark, a bowhead whale and more. For me though it was great to see w hole raft of rarities and unusual animals that even big museums and good displays don’t always cover.

Highlights include thylacine skulls, skeletons of a golden mole, aye-aye, Gangees river dolphin and a giant armadillo. There are skins and stuffed animals too (and quite a few birds) but if you like bone and have a couple of hours to spare, it is well worth the time. I’ll be back and there were some nice little features around the place that will crop up in posts on here I’m sure.

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