‘Dino Takedown’ at the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

Written by Bethany Palumbo, ACR, Head of Conservation Unit, The Natural History Museum of Denmark.

At the Natural History Museum of Denmark, work is currently underway to prepare and move thousands of specimens to a new building, located in the Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen. One such specimen is ‘Misty’ our beloved 17-meter-long Diplodocus. Misty has been welcoming visitors to the Zoological Museum since 2014 and is a much-loved part of our exhibitions.

Taking this specimen down was symbolic in many ways. It was a goodbye to the old building but also a celebration of the new building and future of the museum. We wanted to commemorate this milestone and so we decided to make the Diplodocus deinstallation into an outreach event called the ‘Dino Takedown’. This would create a rare opportunity for the public to watch the deinstallation process, ask questions and further understand the types of conservation work we do in a museum.

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NatSCA Digital Digest – March

Compiled by Jan Freedman, Curator of Natural History, Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives.

It’s that time again when we look at some great events and conferences, writing, and jobs, chosen just for you!

What Should I Read?

Dodo’s in Leeds. Not alive, obviously, but still extremely fascinating. A lovely post by Clare Brown at Leeds Museums and Galleries. Harry Higginson: Distributing dodos in the 1860s.

Plants. Pressed. Old. Difficult to look after. Here’s a nice post by Imogen Crarey: Five lessons for life from working on the Horniman’s Historical Herbarium.

How do you print a dinosaur to make it look lifelike and realistic? Let Alex Peaker tell you: Printing a dinosaur.

Want to discover some incredible women in science? Of course you do! Scroll through excellent, engaging and accessible blog posts all about female archaeologists and palaeontologists on the TrowelBlazers website.

What Should I Do?

Perhaps the biggest event of the year, the annual NatSCA conference, is now taking bookings!

Dead Interesting: Secrets of Collections Success
Wednesday 1st – Friday 3rd May 2019
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin – Collins Barracks site
The #NatSCA2019 conference aims to unlock the secrets of collections success by sharing how our members and colleagues in the wider sector have used collections to benefit their organisations, communities and the wider world.
We will host three themed sessions, with a focus on:
Collections: Reveal your collections care, research and access secrets.
Engagement: What are your engagement success stories and how did you make them happen?
Museums and Tech: How has technology helped you unlock, understand and unleash your collections?

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NatSCA Digital Digest – October

Compiled by Dr Emma Nicholls, Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

What Should I Read?

You may or may not own/have heard of ‘Dinosaurs, How They Lived and Evolved‘ by Dr Darren Naish and Dr Paul Barrett, but either way the good news is there’s now a literally-just-released-second-edition, which is the most up to date a (printed) book can possibly be really. There is a lot of talk about it already but my tuppence is- I have a copy and it’s brilliant. That description fully extends to the captivating cover art by Bob Nicholls of Paleocreations, featuring a hungry Tianyulong (that’s a dinosaur, in case you weren’t sure).

I came across a charming article about getting children into natural sciences recently called ‘Kids and caterpillars: Fostering a child’s interest in nature by rearing Lepidoptera (moth and butterfly) larvae‘. I’m not suggesting we all go out and start rearing leps, but in an age where human lives are ruled by technology, it’s a beautiful story and heart warming example of an intra-familial cross-generational citizen science project by an Assistant Curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and his son.

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NatSCA Digital Digest

A mounted skeleton of a fruitbat leers at the cameraYour weekly round-up of news and events happening in the world of natural sciences


Curator of Natural Sciences, Tullie House Museum. Fixed term for 12 months (with potential for extentsion). Tullie House is also looking for a Collections Access Manager at the moment.

Operations and Project Officer, Lyme Regis Museum. A great opportunity to work on the iconic Jurassic Coast.

UK Flora Collections Assistant, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. An interesting role combining field work, lab work, and collections!

As always, see out jobs page for more opportunities.


SVPCA (The Symposium of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy) is coming up on 29th August – 4th September. This year it is to be held at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

#AskACurator Day is back on Twitter on 16th September. It’s a great way for people to talk to museum staff who are normally ‘behind the scenes’, and for us to get exposure for the amazing work we all do with our collections.

Around the Web

Dinosaurs on tour: Dippy the Diplodocus will be leaving his home at the NHM for a holiday, and the museum is looking for host venues. Must have large gallery.

The genome of the kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) has been sequenced, revealing insights into its strange physiology.

Giant animals that are almost impossible to find! Did you know that the largest stick insect recorded is in the collection of the Natural History Museum (NHM), and is over half a metre long?

Brymbo Fossil Forest in Wrexham has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), protecting the future of its precious 300 million year-old fossils. Sadly, many fossils were lost in arson attacks on the site last year.

NatSCA Digital Digest

NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to another edition of the NatSCA Digital Digest! This episode has been brought to you today by the phrase “birdy num num”. Extra credit if you know where that phrase comes from.

Let’s start off with the news everyone’s been waiting for: Fenscore is back! It was showcased at Refloating the Ark last week and it has a new home right here at NatSCA. We are going to have a full story on this later with many more details from a mystery guest blogger, so we’re looking forward to that. For those of you still struggling to complete your NatSCA Bingo cards, reading this counts.

Another reminder for anyone wishing to submit a poster for the Bone Collections day in Cambridge, Vicky Purewal and Natalie Jones want to hear from you. Get your submissions in or scrawny chick judges you.

Scrawny chick judges you

For those of you that weren’t in the UCL grounds on Monday night, you missed a great night out (including free and student price drinks)  with some of the NatSCA irregulars. The night started with a talk about the Victorian attitudes to fossil discovery by Professor Joe Cain and proceeded to an evening viewing of the Grant Museum‘s temporary exhibition. Joe highlighted the Crystal Palace dinosaurs as a great place to go and see that enthusiasm for lost worlds. He also highlighted the repair work needed and the important work being done by the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs.

Which brings us to our news from interesting recent papers: weird Romanian theropod Balaur bondoc, with its distinctive pair of sickle claws per foot has been shifted from the dromaeosaur to the basal bird clade, thanks to the work of Cau, et al. It isn’t all that big a jump but it does mean Balaur won’t be getting picked on by its clademates for being different quite so much. For more on this, check out co-author Darren Naish’s write-up at Scientific American.

That’s all for now. Tune in next week when we (hopefully) will be able to advertise a really tempting job vacancy!