Prof Ichthyosaurus presents: Objects from Lockdown part 2

Submitted by Matt Williams on

It may not be the real thing... but it's the next best thing - a plaster cast of an original dodo head kept at the Oxford Museum of Natural History (OMNH). The original is a very rare specimen, so famous that the OMNH named its instagram account @morethanadodo! The specimens mummified skin is the only surviving soft tissue of this famously extinct bird available for DNA research.

This cast came to the BRLSI as a donation from Philip Bury Duncan, who with his brother was a major contributor to the Institution in the 19th century. The brothers were Keepers of the old Ashmolean Museum in Oxford from 1823, appointed to preserve its natural history collection.The most famous exhibit there had been a dodo specimen from Mauritius but it was destroyed in 1755 on account of its decrepit condition - apart from the head and claws. Duncan commissioned a number of plaster casts of the head to share with other museums and donated this one to the BRLSI. 
The Duncan Brothers are nameskes of our Duncan Room and when we once more open you can obtain a booklet about them:



« Return to previous page