Top left: This specimen, Silvanerpeton miripedes, is the earliest known anthracosaur, from the Early Carboniferous, and was found in East Kirkton, near Bathgate in Scotland. Anthracosauria is an order of extinct reptile-like amphibians that flourished during the Carboniferous and early Permian periods. This is the holotype specimen, a specimen which is used to formally describe the whole species. UMZC T.1317 Bottom left: One of the most imposing specimens in the museum, standing almost 4 metres high, is the skeleton of the Giant Ground Sloth, Megatherium americanum, that lived over 10,000 years ago. Top right: Diary of Leonard Jenyns (1800–93), an English clergyman, author and naturalist who set up the Societies Museum, which was to become the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology. He was the original choice for the naturalist on the second voyage of HMS Beagle but turned down the offer due to ill health and parish duties. His diary entry for 1831 records: ‘This year I had the offer of accompanying Capt. Fitzroy, as Naturalist, in the Beagle, on his voyage to survey the coasts of S. America, afterwards going round the globe:- declined the appointment wc was afterwards given to Charles Darwin Esq. of Xts’ College Cambridge.’ Middle right: The cracked egg was collected by Charles Darwin and was re-discovered by a museum volunteer who was going through a box of eggs in the Museum’s collection in 2009, just after the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. A check in the archives revealed that in the 19th century it had been noted that it was: ‘...received through Frank Darwin, having been sent to me by his father who said he got it at Maldonado (Uruguay) and that it belonged to the Common Tinamou of those parts... The great man put it into too small a box and hence its unhappy state.’ Bottom right: These bird specimens, all from the islands of Hawaii, are now extinct due to the incursion of mankind. Loss of habitat, the introduction of non-native species into the islands and the diseases they carry, especially avian malaria, have decimated the native populations.
Fund-raising brochure for the University Zoology Museum Cambridge