The march of the dead.
And watch out - the one on the left is a Polar Bear. Sad to say, but they have fucked-up the Pitt-Rivers museum in Oxford.
At last, it has fallen into the hands of modern curators, who don't believe that children can be enthralled with dusty exhibits, haphazardly thrown together in a dimly-lit environment that hasn't seen a lick of paint in 100 years. Well, they are wrong.
There is a whole industry based around museum curation now, and if you don't subscribe to the magazine (as I used to) which offers all sorts of climate-control systems and sensors, interactive display cabinets, modern signage and even university degrees in Museum Curation which tell you the most expensive way to make your collection as boring as possible, then you just won't get a job at all.
The one modern improvement is the great quality of their model-making, though. When you look at creatures like this one, you really understand the notion that chickens are - second to lizards - the dinosaur's closest living relatives. This one doesn't even have teeth.
There is one problem with all these brilliant models, however. The people who make them can only go on what the scientists have told them they should look like, and these instructions are based on conjecture when the science lets them down. Archeologists and film-makers have the same problem, as mentioned in a recent post.
There is a wonderful head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex next to a full-sized skeleton of one in the Pitt-Rivers, and because of a recent discovery by Chinese palaeontologists, they are going to have to remake it, or be laughed at as old-fashioned idiots. I suppose they could just adjust the existing model and stick feathers over the toad-like warty skin. No, they wouldn't do that - it's too cheap a solution.
When it comes to real, stuffed animals, you can't go wrong. I love this little feller - he (I am presuming it is only the male who dresses up like this) looks like an old transvestite going to a ball. That red triangle on the mount denotes that it is on the extreme endangered list. I wonder how it got itself into that position....
We were sitting in the cafe section of the museum, eating the worst sandwiches we have ever had in our lives, when I noticed a small glass case with a dried-out looking bat in it. Attached to the mount was a hand-written label which said that the bat had been caught in the porch of the museum, and presented to it in 1918.
I suppose life was cheap in the aftermath of WW1.