In this first episode, Meg and Sara introduce themselves before interviewing Rebecca Machin, Curator of Natural Science at Leeds Museums and Galleries.
Find out why preserving a caterpillar is especially gross, how one very special gorilla ended up in our collection and most importantly of all, what it’s like to shake David Attenborough’s hand.
Please be aware that this episode features quite graphic discussions about taxidermy and animal anatomy. Taxidermy is the process of using animal skin to make a model of how the animal looked when it was alive. Museums use taxidermy for education and research, and Leeds Museums and Galleries does not kill animals for display.
Taxidermy has been used as a way of preserving animals for centuries. Before television and zoos, most people only got to see wild and exotic animals by looking at taxidermy in museums. Some taxidermy was produced as hunting trophies but modern museum taxidermy is undertaken with complete respect for the animals and out of a need for education and research.