As readers of this blog will be well aware, most of the Museum’s exhibits are closed up and under wraps. But because visitors on their way to the Pitt Rivers Museum still pass through the Museum of Natural History we have decided to install a new changing display of a few treasures from the collection. The… Continue reading →

A Fashion Flea-esta

The delicate art of dressing fleas in tiny costumes, known as ‘Pulgas Vestidas’ in Spanish, flourished in Mexico for over two centuries. It is believed that the craft began in Mexican convents where nuns would fashion tiny pieces of clothing onto dead fleas. An important point to note is that the fleas themselves are not actually dressed — instead, they formed the heads of the figures. … Continue reading →

Beyond Buckland


When news of the discovery reached William Buckland, Professor of Geology at Oxford University, he decided to travel up North to visit the site. However, by the time Buckland arrived at the cave, local collectors had scooped up most of its contents. Nonetheless, he was able to retrieve and examine some of the cave’s remaining material, which led him to an astonishing conclusion — Yorkshire must once have been home to hyaenas, elephants, hippopotamus and rhinoceros, and what was now known as the Kirkdale cave was once a hyaenas’ den.… Continue reading →