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The McManus Museum in Dundee


At the end of the summer, I went with Mum and Dad to the McManus museum in the middle of Dundee. I actually went there twice. The first I went because when I was at Perth Museum they said the McManus museum was really good. The second time I went was because my friend Catherine who is a archeozoologist was doing a workshop there on bones.

The McManus is bigger than Perth museum, but not as big as the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. It has lots of bones on display, and other stuff too like on World War II which I'm doing in school. It had some really cool things like computers where you could see videos of gross stuff like a squirrel being stuffed. That kind of stuff is cool for kids.

They had some really cool stuffed animals.

This is a lynx, which is a kind of wildcat, bigger than a normal house cat, but not as big as a tiger. It eats things like rabbits and foxes. There haven't been lynx in Scotland for thousands and thousands of years but some people want to bring back lynx here.

This is an otter. You still get otters in Scotland but they are a protected species. Dad and I found a dead otter in the next village but we weren't allowed to keep it because of the law.

This is a brown bear. In Perth museum, they have a skull of a brown bear. These lived in Scotland ages and ages ago, and died out before the Romans got here.

This is a beaver. They are trying to reintroduce beavers into Scotland. You can read about that here.

They had lots of cool bones and skulls.

This is a dog skull. It is quite like a fox skull.

This is the Tay Whale and it was my favourite skeleton at the museum. It was so huge it had to hang from the ceiling so you could walk below it. The story is that it was a humpback whale that swam up the River Tay in 1883 when the river was full of ships being built to go whaling. Even so, it took six weeks to harpoon it, and even then they didn't catch it straight away.

After it died, it was sold in an auction. Then it became famous because it was stuffed and put on show. Eventually the skeleton was given to the museum.

This is an auroch skull. Aurochs were ancient huge wild cows. Perth museum have an auroch skull as well.

This is a woman's skeleton from 1,300-1,500 years ago. It was found in a graveyard in Lundin Links in Fife. She was about 25 or 30 when she died which isn't very old. What is amazing is how much they managed to work out about her from her bones ! I wish I knew enough to work out things like that from my skeletons.

These birds are a great spotted woodpecker and a hen harrier. Dad found a baby woodpecker in the next village, and helped it back to its nest. I don't think there are many hen harriers that live near us.

This is a fossil of a dragonfly, which is amazing when you think about it. I really like fossils, and I've seen one dragonfly in my life.

This is my third favourite museum so far, after Kelvingrove museum and Perth museum. The workshop I went to afterwards was pretty cool too. My friend Catherine was there and she brought some of her skulls and bones and roman pottery, and you could pick them up and look at them properly. All museums should let kids pick up the bones, but the kids would have to promise not to steal them.

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