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New arrivals at World Museum

11 May 2011 by Lisa

Here’s Paul Tyson, our Team Leader at the Aquarium, to tell us about some new arrivals at World Museum


Two large blue fish with teeth showing

I’m very pleased that we now have four Atlantic wolf fish, who have come to the World Museum aquarium from the MacDuff Aquarium in Scotland.
 
The Atlantic wolf fish (Anarhichas lupus), also known as the sea wolf, is a marine fish, the largest of the wolf fish family. It has been known to grow to nearly five feet in length. 

I have been keen to bring wolf fish to the aquarium since I started in November. They are extraordinary-looking creatures and I have a bit of a soft spot for them as I have worked with them for 15 years! Feeding time for the wolf fish is fun as these aggressive animals have some serious teeth. However, despite their fearsome appearance Atlantic wolf fish are only a threat to humans when defending themselves out of the water. They also produce a natural antifreeze to keep their blood moving in their cold ocean habitat. Read more…

Green monster loose in the World Museum

11 June 2010 by Lisa

Ever wondered what might happen if one of the animals in the museum escaped? To continue our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th anniversary, we have asked Senior Education Manager of sciences, Mike Graham to tell us about one of his memories from working in the Aquarium in the 1970s…


Fish at the aquarium

Some of Mike’s fishy friends from the aquarium

I started in 1972 at the museum in Liverpool when it was the city museum. We had 26 four-foot, cube shaped, aquaria displaying temperate and tropical marine fish, invertebrates and temperate and tropical freshwater fish. We also had a number of displays of snakes lizards, spiders and other invertebrates. It was a brilliant place to work and in those days it was at the cutting edge of aquarium technology. Every day was different with something new to see and experience. We accepted numerous donations from the general public with surprising results.

We were once offered a large green Iguana which had out grown its owner’s home. It’s owner told us that it was about 4.5 foot long - which we assumed was an exaggeration – and when she appeared with a tiny zipped shopping bag, we thought our assumptions were correct. I made the big mistake of opening it in the public gallery to have a quick look and this 4.5 foot monster poked its head and shoulders out of the bag. How she got it in there in the first place was beyond me! It scanned the area in a nonchalant sort of way and then leapt out and scuttled off down the gallery. We had a marble floor and it wasn’t really able to run on this surface, so it made loads of noise which alerted the visitors and of course lead to absolute pandemonium. I rugby tackled it at the end of the corridors and managed to get back into the lab area. Read more…

From pyramids to underwater exploration

29 April 2010 by Kay C

Have you been catching the latest tweets?

Our Public Lecture Series on Thursday afternoons at World Museum got off to a flying start last week. It continues today, with two great topics: at 2pm – The Recovery of a Fragment of an Egyptian Pyramid; and 2.30pm – Raywatch: Angling for Data. The talks will take place in the Treasure House Theatre and admission is free. See you later!

Save The Frogs!

23 April 2010 by Lisa

Have we ever had a ‘frog blog’ story on our blog before? I don’t think we have! To continue our series of blogs celebrating the World Museum’s 150th anniversary, we’ve got some news from our resident frog fanatic and Aquarist, Phil Lewis. Read on to find out what he’s currently working on at the museum…


Save the Frogs is an international team of scientists, educators, policymakers and naturalists dedicated to protecting the worlds amphibian species: the frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and ceacilians.  It is the first and only public charity dedicated exclusively to amphibian conservation. Read more…

Something for Thursdays

21 April 2010 by Kay C

Thursday afternoons are never going to be the same again…

I am really excited about our new Spring 2010 Public Lecture Series, which kicks off tomorrow (April 22). It’s being held at the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, and features a selection of subjects from our museums and galleries’ collections and exhibitions, from archaeology to contemporary slavery.

For the next four Thursdays, our curators will be talking about some of the fascinating things they have researched. Read more…

Statues and sea-life

19 March 2010 by Lisa

It’s time to peer back into the mists of time again in our series of blogs celebrating World Museum’s 150th anniversary…

On 16 March 2004, during building work on a new entrance and atrium, a traffic warden threatened to give a parking ticket to the crane moving exhibits at the front of the museum in William Brown Street!

Two, two-metre black stone statues of the Egyptian Goddesses Sekhmet were taken from display in the museum’s current entrance and craned down the street to the new entrance. The operation was followed by a photographer from the Liverpool Echo, and he photographed parking attendants as they threatened to fine the crane driver. On 17 March the story appeared in the Echo under the headline ‘Warden tries to book crane as it moves museum statues’. On the next day the story was picked up by the Scotsman, Daily Mirror, Daily Express and several regional papers. The Sun ran a picture story and the news went round the world to the Sydney Morning Herald. Read more…

Voyage of discovery

13 January 2010 by Lisa

Here is this week’s post celebrating the World Museum’s 150th anniversary this year! This week we have a story from Ian Wallace, our Curator of Conchology & Aquatic Biology. Read on to find out about the staff who travelled on a luxury steam yacht to collect new specimens for the museum…


Henry H Higgins

Henry H Higgins

On January 16th 1876 the Museum’s Director, Reverend Henry Hugh Higgins, and museum assistants John Chard and James Wood, left Liverpool on board the brand new luxury steam yacht ‘Argo’.  This had been chartered by Mr Holt of Sudley Art Gallery fame (now called Sudley House), for a cruise to the West Indies and museum workers were invited along to collect scientifically important specimens for the Liverpool Museum (now called the World Museum).  The museum authorities allocated Higgins £50 to cover all costs for the three of them and to purchase specimens.  He spent  £43 and 10d (10 pennies) !   

They were especially interested in collecting marine life and they focussed on sponges.  A sponge is one of the least complicated of all animal groups.  There are lots of cells in the sponge body but there is no organising brain or nervous system and no complicated body organs.  The whole body is a mass of small channels lined by cells that have a beating hair.  These beating cells draw in water and other cells grab tiny single-celled plants floating in the water, digest the plant cells and pass some of the digested food to their neighbours.  Other cells secrete a supporting skeleton of horny fibres or glass fibres. Read more…

Happy Anniversary to the World Museum!

31 December 2009 by Lisa

Black and white photo of old museum interior.

The museum before it was bombed in the Second World War.

I know I’m a day early, but 2010 will mean a pretty important anniversary for us here at National Museums Liverpool. It will be the 150th Anniversary of William Brown handing over the keys for what was then the Liverpool museum, which we now all know and love as the World Museum.

To mark this anniversary we’re going to be featuring a year-long series of World Museum-related stories on this blog. There’ll be a story a week, with a mix of historical and contemporary pieces. We want to let you know all about the museum’s history but also give you a few behind the scenes peeks at the people, stories and events that make (and have made) this such a special museum. Read more…

Mad about rays!

15 October 2009 by Lisa

Here is Laura Healy from our Development Office to tell us why she is mad about Thornback Rays and how you can support our RayWatch project to help protect them.


Woman surrounded by toy rays

Laura and her furry new friends

According to local anglers, October is the best month to find Thornback Rays in the River Mersey. One of the most popular animals on display at World Museum’s aquarium in Liverpool, they are also the focus of our new public appeal called RayWatch.  

We’re working with the Sharktrust to tag Thornback Rays in the Liverpool Bay area and monitor them in the wild. I work in the Development Office and volunteer in the aquarium so I’ve been making ‘Ray Champion’ packs and I’m currently on-call to go on an all-day tagging trip on the Mersey once the weather is right! Read more…

Watch out for Shark Week!

2 October 2009 by Lisa

Here is Phil Lewis our Aquarium & Bughouse Assistant to tell you about the forthcoming Shark Week at the World Museum


European Shark Week runs from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 October when we’ll have an array of activities at the World Museum’s Clore Natural History Centre. There will be badge making for children and lots of posters and pockets guides to give away, with information about sharks and rays.  All the drawings of the various species that are produced by visitors during the week, will be mounted on the wall to form a huge mural.  Read more…