As a member of the Natural History Society of Northumbria I took advantage of a visit to the Hancock collections at the Discovery museum, these are items awaiting repair , restoration or just held as cabinet specimens , after being escorted through a myriad of doors we eventually got down to the temperature controlled rooms with the role back shelving units .The first tour was the Biology Section , the top photo shows not only one Great Auk but also a juvenile ,opposite these where a selection of Humming Birds , I was absolutely in awe of just how small some of them where , I was unaware we could take some photos and missed the opportunity of several Hummers displayed on a small branch , I have never seen any Humming Bird as yet , but one or two of these where on a par with the size of Humming Bird Hawkmoth . Next to the Auks where some very rare birds a Passenger Pigeon, and two Slender Billed Curlews . There where also drawers of cabinet specimens used for measurements etc . I was rather pleased with myself to identify a Kakapo wrapped in polythene but the tail just visible, on closer inspection it just looked like moss growing on it , apparently it means Night Parrot.
The next tour was the Archaeology section which oddly included a huge amount of weapons from ethnic tribes etc: the guides where excellent and I took every opportunity to ask questions , the collection was not just a few pieces of pottery etc: that I perhaps thought but items such as a Reindeer suit that apparently the owner would be sewn into in the Winter and then released in the Spring presumably outdoors and facing downwind. A large portion of the arrows etc: where heavily wrapped and labelled with the warning "Hazard of Poison " from such as poison arrow frogs, again so much to take in the items looking haphazard on the shelves and not as you seen them in a display cabinet, they quickest few hours I have ever spent the time flew by.
Stewart has corrected my I.D. and it is indeed a Pangolin. and also the bird behind the Slender Billed Curlew is a Passenger Pigeon a bird now extinct the last one dying in an American Zoo, once seen in flocks of Millions !!