This is my project that I did for school. I went on a trip to the Natural History Museum in Tring to look at their birds specimens that Dr Livingstone (my great great grandmother's second husband's uncle!) collected in Africa. The following section is the text on the second page of my book.
My great, great, great
grandmotherís second husbandís uncle was Doctor Livingstone. Dr Livingstone
is a very famous man. He has
collected thousands of specimens in his lifetime of many different varieties and
types of all animals. I saw, at a
behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum in
The Zambezi river is
shown on the map of
There is a Natural History Museum at Tring, which is where I met Mark. Tring is in the top two collections in the world for amounts of bird specimens. Itís absolutely massive and contains 700,000 bird skins which cover about 95% of all known living bird species. Mark Adams is a bird expert and he showed me and Daddy some specimens of birds with contrasting beak and foot adaptations. He let us handle the specimens and draw and take photographs of them. In total, we did eight birds. The specimens Mark showed us were around 150 years old and were all collected by Dr Livingstone.
The bird skins are preserved quickly but efficiently. The bird is slit down its stomach and the skin peeled off. The eyes are taken out and replaced with wads of cotton wool. Inside the skin is filled with cotton wool and the belly sewn up.
It was an absolutely
amazing experience Ė something that you would call a once-in-a-lifetime
experience - to actually hold the specimens that my ancestor collected 150 years
Mark has been very helpful and kind, talking to us and explaining about all of the different birds separately, and giving up so much of his time for us. That and finding the specimens: there was a huge room on each of three floors, filled with bird specimens of different ages.