Small an­i­mals de­serve your at­ten­tion, too

The Washington Post Sunday - - KIDS POST - kidspost@wash­

They’re teeny-tiny, there are mil­lions of them and one mu­seum man­ager says they just don’t get enough at­ten­tion.

Jack Ashby, who runs the Grant Mu­seum of Zo­ol­ogy in Eng­land, said he is try­ing to give drag­on­fly nymphs, tor­toise mites and sea spi­ders the at­ten­tion they de­serve, un­veil­ing a Mi­crar­ium de­voted to some of the world’s small­est an­i­mals. Can you guess which two words were used to cre­ate “mi­crar­ium”?

“You go to any nat­u­ral his­tory mu­seum and it’s nor­mally full of big an­i­mals, but ac­tu­ally the huge ma­jor­ity of life on Earth is ab­so­lutely tiny, and we thought we’d right that wrong,” Ashby said. “We want to give peo­ple a chance to see what makes up most of the an­i­mal king­dom.”

The Grant Mu­seum is home to all sorts of weird stuff: dodo bones, a gi­ant deer skull, an un­usual batch of an­i­mal brains pick­led in al­co­hol and an even eerier-look­ing jar jammed full of pre­served moles. Ashby said the Mi­crar­ium — which is in a former stor­age room within the larger mu­seum — dis­plays 2,323 slides of mini-mon­sters, from tor­toise bee­tles to baby cut­tle­fish. Vis­i­tors who have trou­ble mak­ing out the an­cient slides can use mag­ni­fy­ing glasses.

The Mi­crar­ium is open to the pub­lic and, like the mu­seum, is free.

But don’t all come at once. The room is very small.


The mu­seum ex­hibits are so small, vis­i­tors can use mag­ni­fy­ing glasses.

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