Dinos and Dodos: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

There’s something about Dinosaurs that really brings out the kid in me. I’m not really sure why, it’s hard not to feel like a youngling next to something so big and so old, maybe it’s because they bring back warm fuzzy memories of trips to the Natural History Museum when I was a child. As I was in Oxford, I decided to visit the Dinosaurs at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and feel like a kid again.

Award Winning Museum

Kids in Museum AwardJust from setting foot in the grand cathedral of science it’s clear why they won the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award alongside the Pitt Rivers Museum (the two museums are in the same building, you see, and it’s easy to see them as only one entity). As soon as I walked in I was greeted by the noises of a school group bubbling away excitedly from somewhere in the museum, clearly the museum hasn’t lost it’s touch!

Anyway, on with the adventure!


The Dinosaurs form an impressive greeting party at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Like I said earlier, Dinosaurs bring out the kid in me, so I rushed to meet them and find out exactly what was greeting me and what else was on show…


The one at the back is an example of the most famous Dinosaur of all time, the Tyrant Lizard King, Tyrannosaurs Rex, with whom I had a bit of a run in…(don’t worry I managed to escape!)

Me, being eaten by a TRex
Me, being eaten by a TRex

Dead as a Dodo

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History also has another famously extinct resident; the Dodo. This museum’s Dodo, however, is unique amongst museum dodo’s. The dodo you see here is the most complete remains of a single Dodo anywhere, making it a Very Important Object indeed! You can tell how much the Dodo means to the museum, because they have incorporated it into their logo.

The Oxford Dodo
The Oxford Dodo

You can also see the mummified head and feet of a Dodo that was part of the Musaeum Tradescantianum which came to Oxford when Elias Ashmole acquired the collection.

I always enjoy it when a museum has a literary link, and this one is no exception. The Dodo on display inspired Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carrol) who portrayed himself in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a dodo. We think, but can’t be entirely sure, that he chose the dodo because he spoke with a stutter, and so would introduce himself as  Mister “do..do..Dodgson.”


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