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A History of the World

18 January 2010 by Lucy

Last week I spent an afternoon filming with the BBC InsideOut North West team, working on a programme being aired on BBC One this evening.

Tide Prediction Machine

The Robert-Lege Tide Prediction Machine (1908). Part of National Museums Liverpool’s collection of objects from Bidston Observatory.

 

The programme is part of A History of the World project, formed out of a unique partnership between the BBC, the British Museum and 350 museums and institutions across the country.

 

For this particular programme, presenter Andy Johnson heads to the Wirral in search of Bidston Observatory’s Tide Prediction Machine, and our very own expert and curator of earth science Alan Bowden, was interviewed for the piece about National Museums Liverpool’s own collection of objects acquired from Bidston Observatory. Read more…

Meteor shower tonight

13 December 2009 by Karen

This is a bit last minute, but a reminder to watch the skies tonight for the annual Geminids shower. You should be able to see the meteors between around 8 and 10pm in the UK. It should be a good view – just had a look outside and the sky is clear, plus being close to the new moon there’s not much moonlight. There’ll be about 100 meteors every hour which should be visible with the naked eye. It’s pretty chilly out there so if you’re venturing out wrap up warm. 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…

Ask the curator!

21 September 2009 by Lisa

Aquarium curator next to a tank of rays.

Aquarium Curator, Rachel Ball, in the aquarium.

Ever wondered what it’s like to handle ancient artefacts, care for unusual creatures or produce an exhibition of wonderful artworks?

If you have a question about our museums, galleries or collections then take part in Ask the curator, which gives you the chance to ask our featured curator anything you like.

Next in line to answer your questions is Aquarium Curator, Rachel Ball. Rachel looks after the collections in the World Museum’s aquarium, which is teeming with fish and other sea life from Australia to Anglesey. Read more…

Dodo skeleton on display at World Museum

11 September 2009 by Karen

a large birds skeleton

The Dodo’s skeleton

A rare skeleton of the Dodo went on display in the Atrium at World Museum Liverpool today. The specimen is made up of bones found on Mauritius and has been in the collection since 1866, however it’s not been on display for at least 40 years. The skeleton is on display for about a month as part of the museum’s popular Hidden Treasures series of displays featuring items rarely seen by the public.

Dr Clem Fisher, curator of vertebrate zoology, says: “The skeleton is quite complete although we have recently discovered that the foot bones have been skilfully carved from wood.” The Dodo is also missing the top of its head (cranium). Read more…

Hermit crabs get a new home!

20 August 2009 by Lisa

Bug House Demonstrator, Rebekah Beresford, is back again to tell us about her latest project in the Bug House at World Museum Liverpool. This time she has been giving the Hermit Crabs’ vivarium a make-over! You can see the photos from each stage of the project on our Bug House Flickr set.


A glass tank with sand and plants inside

The Hermit Crab vivarium

After the success of the Indian Ground Beetles display earlier this year it was decided that some of our other vivariums could also do with a revamp! The Bug House hasn’t kept any mantids for over a year now and they’re incredibly popular with the visitors - so the next vivarium on the list was their display.

The new vivarium arrived from Exo Terra and was made by leading experts in the world of exotics. We got to work on siliconing in a glass partition, a third of the way along the tank to create a fresh water pool. Hermit crabs require fresh water so that they can mix it with salt water. The crabs then pull up into their shells their own preferred salinity reservoir from which they can breathe through. The fresh water pool in this vivarium will house a variety of aquatic invertebrates such as apple snails and gammarus (shrimp-like amphipods). The pool will also be useful for maintaining the humidity in the tank. Read more…

More moving stories from the handling and transport team

14 August 2009 by Sam

Two men lifting a large model house

When they handling team say they’re moving houses they usually mean literally!

As I’ve mentioned many times before, there’s never a dull moment for the handling and transport team. Since I last reported on their activities they have safely transported a huge variety of objects from our collections, including ship models, paintings, a stained glass window and some Hindu Gods (well, sculptures of them, anyway). Some have been moved from storage to the conservation studios for treatment and back again, other objects have been gone on or off display and a few have ben loaned to other organisations. Read more…

Spotting the Perseids

12 August 2009 by Karen

I’m not holding out too much hope of seeing anything that looks like a Perseid tonight. The Beeb is suggesting a fair amount of cloud cover in the vicinity of my house 

In case you don’t know the Perseids are an annual meteor shower that occurs when the Earth passes through dust debris from the comet, Swift-Tuttle. It reaches its peak tonight and should be a good show for people lucky enough to live in an area without too much light pollution or cloud cover. Plus you shouldn’t need any fancy equipment to either see or photograph them, just look to the north east after dark. Read more…

Ship Ahoy!

11 August 2009 by Lisa

Rain or shine, getting out on the River Mersey is always a fun trip and Curator of Botany, Geraldine Reid, has taken part in one of this year’s Mersey Ferry Discovery Cruises. Here she is to tell us more about them…


Woman looking through a microscope

Looking at plankton aboard a Mersey ferry. Image courtesy of Jennifer Welch.

Last Friday, with staff from the Clore Natural History Centre and aquarium, I took part in my first Mersey Ferry Discovery Cruise. It was with some trepidation of what to expect on the high seas of the Mersey that I ventured out. The day started over at Seacombe with us getting the plankton nets out and throwing them over the side of the ferry (attached to a long line) to get samples of the water so that we could demonstrate why the estuary is such a haven for birds. These are very fine nets which we pull through the water to catch the microscopic animals (zooplankton) and plants (phytoplankton) that it contains. These tiny organisms are indicators of the health of the estuary. Plankton essentially is anything that cannot swim against the current. Read more…