The Bird Egg Collection

Claire Miles explores our LMG’s Bird Egg collection during her placement with our Natural Sciences Collection.

The Secret Life of the Leeds Tiger

The Leeds Tiger over at Leeds City Museum is one of our best-loved exhibits, but how did it get here and was it really once a rug? Thanks to some amazing research by Ebony Andrews, (in her PhD thesis ‘The Biographical Afterlife of the Leeds Tiger’), we have the answers to some of these questions!…

Taking care of our taxidermy collection

Swallowtail butterfly Museum collections require constant care and there’s a lot of conservation work going on behind the scenes at Leeds Museums. Right now, some of the animals usually displayed in Leeds City Museum’s Life on Earth Gallery are being conserved. We’re taking the opportunity to reveal what goes on behind the scenes, following the…

Treasures of the Herbarium Collection

During my placement at the Discovery Centre I have been documenting the Herbarium collection donated to Leeds Museums by the University of Leeds.  Conserving delicate plants The herbarium sheets, cones and seeds that I am working with are stacked in groups by the species to which they belong and groups of species folders are then…

Eggy Oddities: Why Kiwis Produce Massive Eggs

Generally in the natural world the size of one’s offspring correlates with the size of one’s self. Elephant babies are huge and mouse babies are tiny. The bigger the bird the bigger the egg or the bigger the egg the bigger the bird…depending on which came first! Of course nothing in nature is that simple…

The Passenger Pigeon – 100 Years On

September 1st 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), a stark reminder of the destruction humanity can inflict on the natural world. It is estimated that when Europeans first arrived on the coasts of North America, the Passenger Pigeon was the most abundant land bird in the country,…

A slug on a night out

I saw this lovely Leopard Slug on my path early this morning on my way to work. Leopard Slugs look rather like normal slugs on a night out, wearing fetching leopard-skin outfits. This one looked like it was on its way home after a big one. One of the weird things about Leopard Slugs is…

Sunny Sand Martins

I often see nice bits of urban wildlife on my walk to the Discovery Centre from the train station. Lately I’ve been cheered by the sight of Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) flying around over the River Aire by Leeds Bridge. These are amazing birds, related to the more familiar Swallow and House Martin. They are…