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Beaty Biodiversity Museum

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia is a newly open research centre and museum focusing on all thing natural and all things naturally diverse.
Read more about the museum here +

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Theatrical Taxidermy

intro.gif  William Bullock’s “The Royal Tiger” created in 1814 presented a tiger and a boa constrictor locked in mortal combat. The two creatures, both occupying a special place in the human imagination as alpha predators and man-eaters, were clearly designed to provoke awe and horror in its viewers. The accompanying description intensified the drama: the tiger, “this powerful and sanguinary destroyer of the human species” is nearly exhausted, “and its bones crushed and broken by the strength and weight of its tremendous adversary. A similarly dramatic tableau entitled “Arab Courier Attacked by Lions” was created by the French taxidermist Jules Verreaux and won the gold medal for taxidermy at the Paris Exposition of 1867. The scene depicted two Barbary lions, now an extinct species, mauling a camel and a human figure. The combats rarely involved animals native to Europe, which contained few such sensational predators. By dramatising exotic creatures, theatrical taxidermy endowed nature in distant lands with an almost mythical ferocity.


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