Friday mystery object #400 answer

Last week we hit the 400th mystery object, which was this specimen from the Dead Zoo:

Horned beasties can be tricky since there are over 140 species in the Bovidae. There is quite a lot of diversity in size and in horn shape, but there are some general patterns, with spirals, twists, curves and recurves. A good place to trawl through for comparisons is the Animal Diversity Web, which has plenty of images.

However, this is one of the better known species, with nicely lyrate horns, so quite a few people recognised it without having to go searching. This is a Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis (Zimmermann, 1780), a South African antelope that has given its name to the nation’s rugby team. Well done to everyone who figured it out, particularly Goatlips, who got there first!

This specimen is one of 333 game heads that we’re in the process of decanting from the Museum, as part of a project that includes moving thousands of invertebrates and birds, as well as a couple of whales. If you’re interested in how we’re dealing with the game heads we recently reported on it at the NatSCA Conservation Twitter conference, which I’ve shared below:


7 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #400 answer

  1. paolo,

    such an endeavor, and en plein pandemic no less. thanks for taking the time to share the journey so we can better appreciate not only the importance of these collections, but the hard work and effort behind the scenes to protect and preserve these important works of nature. thank you and congrats again on #400!

  2. The @Nat_SCA Twitter person has blocked @GoatIips for no apparent reason! Maybe I tagged them too many times re-threading the @DublinDeadZoo #NatSCAConservation tweets – but they could have just muted me! Weird.

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