Hawksbill Turtle Shell

We have a hawksbill turtle shell in our Natural History Collection, which was found washed up on the sand at Kilifi in Kenya.

The hawksbill sea turtle is critically endangered. It is named for its narrow, pointed beak. It has a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on its shell that forms a serrated look at the edges. These patterned shells are commonly sold as "tortoiseshell" in markets

Giraffe Neck Bone

align="left"""This piece of a giraffe neck bone was found in Kenya and is part of our Natural History Collection.

The giraffe was presumed to have died of natural causes. The neck of a giraffe is made up of seven large bones known as cervical vertebrae. At an average height of around 5 m (or 16-18 ft), the giraffe is the tallest land animal in the world. Many people first believed the giraffe was a cross between a leopard and a camel, which is reflected in its scientific name, "giraffa camelopardalis".

Giraffes mainly live in savanna areas in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Their height allows them to eat leaves and shoots that are out of the reach of other animals. They particularly like acacia trees.

British Butterflies Collection

We have a cabinet of British Butterflies in our Natural History Collection.

It contains the following butterflies:

Top row:

Dark Green Fritillary, Orange Tip, Chalkhill Blue, Comma, Adonis Blue, Green-veined White, Brimstone

Second row:

Marbled White, Heath Fritillary, Small Skipper, Silver Washed Fritillary, Green Hairstreak, Marsh Fritillary, White Admiral

Third row:

Tortoiseshell, Ringlet, Glanville Fritillary, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Small White

Fourth row:

Clouded Yellow, Large Heath, Holly Blue, Peacock, Common Blue, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown

Fifth row:

Black-veined White, Grizzled Skipper, Small Copper, Painted Lady. Small Heath, Checkered Skipper, Large White

The UK has 59 species of butterflies. 57 of these are resident species of butterflies and two are regular migrants: the Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow. Five species of butterfly have become extinct in the last 150 years: the Mazarine Blue, Large Tortoiseshell, Black-veined White, Large Copper and Large Blue.

Butterflies and moths have been recognised as indicators of biodiversity. Their fragility makes them quick to react to change, and so their struggle to survive is a serious warning about our environment.