13 August 2020

New arrivals in the State Darwin Museum collection

Today the fund-purchasing commission of the State Darwin Museum accepted new objects into the funds.

The new jewel is the aberrant woolly rhinoceros skull. It was found in Yakutia in near the Lake Holokun. In addition to its impressive size, the skull surprises with its anomalies.

First, we found incisors in the mouth of this ancient herbivore. Normally, woolly rhinoceroses lacked canines and incisors - they chewed the grass with powerful molar teeth. The abnormal tooth, apparently, is the inheritance from a distant ancestor who lived 10-15 million years ago, whose incisors were still in use.

Secondly, there is a strange hole in the back of the skull. It looks like it was made by a parasitic worm during the life of the unlucky animal.

In addition to the unusual skull, the paleo collection today was replenished by 150 mammoth tusks with growth abnormalities, 70 ammonites with traces of bites and diseases, as well as a small collection of teeth and dermal ossifications (scales) of extinct cartilaginous fish (Chondrostei) from the collection of the Soviet amateur paleontologist Anton Erlanger.

The collection of butterflies was replenished by lepidopteran beauties from the Krasnoyarsk Territory - a gift from a friend of the museum, Gariy Kuleshov, as well as butterflies from Vietnam and Cameroon, brought by our employees from scientific expeditions.

A miniature figurine of a Tyrannosaurus Rex made of bronze by Vagharshak Galboyan has complemented the Fine Arts collection.

The collection of rare books includes 10 scientific publications, 9 of which were written in the 19th century. Joachim Barrande, a French geologist and paleontologist, a foreign corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. He was a teacher of the grandson of Charles X, the king of France, - Count de Chambord, and after the overthrow of the monarchy, he moved with the royal family to the Czech Republic (Bohemia back then), where he began to study the Early Paleozoic deposits. The suburbs of Prague, where the research was carried out, a bridge and a film studio were named after Barrande, and the Prague National Museum holds his large paleontological and geological collection.

The books have preserved inscriptions, from which we learn that this was a gift from Barrande to his friend from the Academy of Sciences Alexander Folbart.

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