OFFERING a singular peek into the science of a bygone time, these anatomical specimens from the Hunterian Museum in London inform a narrative of medical discovery and curiosity via the ages. Named after the 18th-century surgeon John Hunter, the museum has reopened to the general public after being closed for redevelopment for the previous 5 years. The shows reveal Hunter’s aptitude for anatomy and dissection, and his ardour as an unique animal collector.
Hunter’s surgical expertise and data of the human physique have been gleaned from his in depth research of cadavers, though he had some murky strategies of acquisition. He was recognized to have partnered with “physique snatchers” to amass corpses freshly dug from graves, and in addition obtained the physique of two.3-metre “Irish Big” Charles Byrne after his demise, ignoring Byrne’s needs to be buried at sea. Byrne’s skeleton had lengthy been on show on the museum, however due to the sensitivities concerned, it has been faraway from the most recent show.
Amongst Hunter’s preparations are a human femur, or thigh bone (foremost image), and, under that, a preserved head of a king vulture. The second a child crocodile emerged from its egg (pictured above) was additionally immortalised. These are a part of a staggering assortment of greater than 13,000 specimens of some 500 species accrued by Hunter, round 2000 of that are being exhibited on the museum.
Additionally proven are microscope slides of a butterfly wing and lizard (each pictured above) ready by Nineteenth-century histologist and microscopist John Quekett, and the lengthy tongue of a chameleon (pictured under).
New Scientist video
Watch a video in regards to the Hunterian Museum’s anatomical curiosities at youtube.com/newscientist