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Collecting natural rarities

Many large and exotic creatures were difficult to collect, transport and preserve. Parts of animals often had to represent the whole. The hide of a crocodile [1] and the head of a turtle [4] could be recognised, but the tooth of an elephant [3] might be less familiar.

The early Keepers of the Ashmolean Museum were active researchers in natural history. A fossil sea urchin [2] described by Robert Plot, the very first Keeper, is now named after him.

Other narratives:

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