20 January 2017

Drawing at Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College (in Camden) is running some evening sessions for drawing its specimens. I had been to a session in August, and drew the elephant skeleton that graces the cafe atrium -
The college's facebook page has a gallery of images from the drawing sessions. I used a felt pen in an A5-sized book, quite a challenge for capturing the elephant. Have you heard that elephants have four kneecaps? Actually the front "knees" are elbows...

But to the present: it was birds' beaks that caught my eye -
Magellanic penguins

Egret, curlew, and ... hmm, don't know ...

This is Bubo bubo, the Eurasian eagle owl
There's something amazing about those eye sockets...
A smaller owl, also with scleral bones round the eye
The specimen of choice was removed from the case and we could (carefully) handle it. I turned Bubo bubo this way and that (ignoring the tiger skull behind him) for a page of blind drawings, discovering his bony secrets, with a view to reading about it later - owls' eyes are fascinating - and did you know there are 216 species of owl, 18 of which are of the barn owl family? (the others are "typical owls", Strigidae family) -
Some rear views, including a closer look at the vertebrae -
I wasn't the only one to choose an owl skeleton  -
 A few more photos from this fascinating place -
Teaching materials

Hen in a cage?
 And this is Lucy, our australopithicine relative -
She's the size of a child, and children are apparently fascinated by her when similar models are taken round to schools - they can look her right in the eye. And she's ever so old ... 3.2 million, how many birthdays is that?

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