A stimulating morning at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History last Saturday – wonderful for allowing your interest to lead you to new and unexpected places. A few photos of animal skeletons…always striking the structural similarities with humans! On the left is the rib cage and vertebrae from a pig, with the huge spinous processes (the spiky bits along its back) for what must be massively powerful muscles. The middle picture is of the neck of a camel – amazingly, both camels and giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in the neck (seven) as us.  On the right is the skull of an elephant; the sinuses (air cavities) aren’t visible in the photo, but they contribute (as in us) to lightening the skull.

Within the the Oxford University Museum of Natural History museum is the archaeological and ethnographic Pitt Rivers Museum – a wonderfully eclectic collection of human artefacts…including its famous collection of human shrunken heads…well worth a visit.

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