Blog

The land of the orang-utan

16 August 2019 by John Wilson

150 years ago Alfred Russel Wallace wrote about “the land of the orang-utan” and sent specimens to Liverpool

2019 is the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Alfred Russel Wallace’s The Malay Archipelago: The land of the orang-utan, and the bird of paradise. A narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature.

Although best known as the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection alongside Charles Darwin, The Malay Archipelago firmly established Wallace as one of the greatest natural history explorers.

Read more…

Thinking of keeping ‘Dory’ in a home aquarium?

6 August 2019 by Matt Smith

Regal Tang

The release of the film ‘Finding Nemo’ saw a rise in the popularity of ‘Dory’, the forgetful but lovable Blue Regal Tang. Here, Robert Woods from Fishkeeping World advises that keeping such a beautiful fish in a home aquarium can be challenging, noting the key considerations to their successful care.

About the Blue Regal Tang
Also known as the Blue Hippo Tang, the Royal Blue Tang, the Regal Tang and the Palette Surgeonfish, the Blue Tang is a very popular fish in the aquarium industry, rising to fame after  the release of the films Finding Nemo and its sequel Finding Dory. It is a brilliant blue colour with black markings stretching from its tail to its eyes and sunshine yellow pectoral and caudal fins. You can expect one of these fish to cost in between 15 to 70 pounds, depending on whether you buy a juvenile or an adult specimen.  They reach up to 12 inches and as open swimmers like to swim around freely. To ensure they start feeding properly and don’t become stressed they need to be acclimatized to tank life very slowly. Blue Tangs are also susceptible to parasites so you’ll need to quarantine them before adding them to your main tank.

Blue Regal Tang Tank Conditions
These fish need a tank which is at least 100 gallons, or ideally 200, meaning that they are only suited to more experienced aquarists. This fish loves open water and hiding spots, so some live rock scattered around the sides and back of the tank is also required.

The required water conditions are:
• pH : 8.1 – 8.4
• Temperature : 75°F – 82°F (25°C – 28°C)
• Specific Gravity : 1.020 – 1.025
• Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 – 12°

Blue Regal Tang Tank Mates
Whilst not overly aggressive, the Blue Regal Tang will be hostile towards other blue tangs so you should either only keep one, or keep a group in a large tank and introduce them all at the same time. They might fight each other to establish territories, so if you’re keeping a group of them together you’ll need a large enough tank for them to establish their own territories. Blue Tangs will get on with most other species of fish; one of the most popular fish to keep this species with is no other than Nemo himself – the clownfish.

Feeding Your Blue Regal Tang
Acclimating the Blue Regal Tang can be tricky as they are more used to grazing than the regular feeds which most aquarists provide for their fish. As grazers they will eat a variety of food once used to tank conditions.  They fare much better in well-established reef tanks with a range of plankton and algae for them to feed on. They eat a lot of algae in the wild, so providing them with algae wafers is a good idea. You can also feed them a mixture of live, frozen and flake foods.

Bear in mind that even though it might be tempting to keep your very own Dory in a home aquarium, you need to give this some serious consideration: these fish are very difficult to care for, and should only be looked after by the experienced or expert aquarist. If you want to show your appreciation to their natural beauty without the commitment of keeping one, take a trip to World Museum to see their group of vibrant and beautiful Tangs.

 

Moon explorations!

Image of the crescent of the moon

From the Dark Side – László Francsics

“O, swear not by the moon, the fickle moon, the inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb…”

Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)

Think about your living room. The items on a shelf, or a table. How often do you look at them, really look at them?

You know there’s a photo of you and a friend, or there’s a statue that Auntie Edwina gave you tucked in a corner. You know they’re there, but you’re so used to them that you barely give them a second glance. Could you, without looking, describe them? The colours, the pose, the material, or would you have to think really hard? It’s amazing how when we get used to something, we become blasé about it, not giving it a second thought.

We tend to do this with the moon. We know it’s there. Occasionally we might notice it when it’s bright and full, or if a story appears about a ‘super-moon’. How often do you look for it in the daytime? Or when it’s a thin crescent or a half moon? Read more…

What next for human remains collections at the World Museum?

19 June 2019 by Emma Martin

Emma Martin, Senior Curator at World Museum introducing the discussion with a copy of the Human Remains policy that is currently being reviewed. Left to right: Angela Stienne, Constantine Eliopoulous, Ashley Cooke, Ben Jones and Chrissy Partheni. Image by Donna Young

This is a guest blog by Angela Stienne (Science Museum, London) who recently chaired two public debates on human remains in museums at World Museum for the #WMWhereNext initiative.

On Friday 17 May, World Museum hosted two public debates on human remains in museums, as part of the LightNight Liverpool festival. The aim of these debates was to probe public opinion on the retention and display of human remains in museums through votes via smartphones, but also to engage the public in a convivial conversation on a very important topic for the museum: what next for human remains collections at the World Museum? I was invited by the World Museum to moderate the debate, as part of my Medicine Galleries Research Fellowship at the Science Museum, which focuses on human remains in the 21st century museum. I am here sharing some thoughts on this very inspiring and thoughtful evening, and what this means for the future of engagements with human remains in museums. Read more…

Volunteers Week spotlight – Corrina from Ethnology

6 June 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. To celebrate Volunteers Week we are meeting more volunteers as part of a bumper Volunteer Spotlight series so we can really celebrate the different contributions that our amazing volunteers make.

Alex (L) and Corrina (R)

Life has a habit of going full circle and that is certainly the case with Corrina: a volunteer with the Ethnology team. When she returned to the UK having taught English in Japan for fourteen years, Corrina revisited what she had originally had an interest in before her move, and looked towards the Walker Art Gallery, which she studied as part of her dissertation. This prompted her to make enquires into volunteering for National Museums Liverpool.

Initially Corrina had been interested in archive work  and she also wanted her volunteer role to link back to Japan: assisting the Ethnology department research and record the Japan collection in the museum collections store seemed perfect. Read more…

Volunteers Week spotlight – Chloe from the Aquarium at World Museum

4 June 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. To celebrate Volunteers Week we are meeting more volunteers as part of a bumper Volunteer Spotlight series so we can really celebrate the different contributions that our amazing volunteers make.

Laura (L) and Chloe (R)

I’m quite fortunate in my role that I get to go out and about to our various venues to meet amazing volunteers, for this Spotlight, I was incredibly lucky to meet Chloe and Laura from the Aquarium at the World Museum and gain an insight into a small part of their day to day routine, which for me, involved a behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium!

From the get go, it was clear how much knowledge and passion Chloe has for her role volunteering with the Live Centres team; she is currently studying Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moore University and was ready for a new challenge when she came across the Aquarium Volunteer – Student Placement. The placement would provide her new experiences and fill the gap between university and work. Not only that – but the experience would look good on a CV. Read more…

Where Next for the World Cultures gallery?

10 April 2019 by Emma Martin

If you’ve visited World Museum you’ll know the World Cultures gallery has incredible collections from Africa, Asia, Oceania and The Americas, but the presentation is now out of date and perpetuates stereotypes and assumptions about people and places. I am one of a group of people working in the museum who is increasingly questioning the relevance of these displays and thinking about new ways to use objects to understand our collective past, present and future.

We agree that the gallery needs to change, but the question is how to do it?

Read more…

The Island of Extinct Birds

4 April 2019 by John Wilson

Dr Alex Bond, the Senior Curator in Charge of Birds at NHM Tring recently visited the bird collection at World Museum. Here’s what he had to say about his visit:

“I recently visited the bird collection at World Museum Liverpool as part of my team’s research on the birds of Lord Howe Island. Situated in the Tasman Sea, about halfway from Australia to New Zealand, Lord Howe is home to about 350 people, and has a troubling ornithological history. First visited in 1788 (and with no evidence of pre-colonial inhabitation), it has now lost 9 species of bird, including some species and subspecies found nowhere else.

“We are beginning to study the history of these extinctions, and the biology of the birds that are now gone. Thanks to museum specimens, including several in Liverpool like the Lord Howe Gerygone, and the endemic subspecies of Metallic Starling, we can piece together when these birds disappeared, find out how unique they were, and potentially inform future plans to reintroduce closely-related species once the island’s rats and mice are eradicated (currently planned for the Austral winter of 2019).”

Through the roof in 2018!

27 March 2019 by Laura

Terracotta General

Terracotta General © Mr. Ziyu Qiu

No two ways about it, 2018 was a blockbuster year for National Museums Liverpool.

In figures released today by ALVA it was revealed that World Museum was the most visited museum in England (outside London) last year. Read more…

Beauty and Virtue in Mexico City

14 January 2019 by Chrissy Partheni

Togate and Faustina

Just before Christmas we opened the exhibition ‘Beauty and Virtue: 18th century English collecting of classical art’ at the National Museum of Anthropology – the largest and most visited museum in Mexico City. It’s taken two years of careful planning and has involved the work of different NML teams and an ongoing collaboration with our Mexican colleagues from INAH. Showcasing the diversity and richness of our collections,  the core of the exhibition is from the sculpture collections of Henry Blundell, alongside paintings from the Walker’s and Lady Lever Art Gallery’s collections, including works on papers and Wedgwood material. They serve well to introduce the theme of 18th century Grand Tour and also help demonstrate the influence classical antiquity had on artists’ education and training, and the new ways artists reimagined the ancient classical world.

Read more…



About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.