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  • Susan Elaine Jones

Ikea manual for reassembly required

Baboon skeleton utterly disarticulated

A late write up from a trip to the wonderful gem, Grant's Museum in London. Part of UCL, hidden somewhere near the Petrie Museum, I was drawn by the prospect of a thylacine, whole, pickled in a jar. (Apologies to Jack Ashby's collegue Mark, the Grant's Museum Curator, who prefers "preserved in fluid". But I like the term pickled. Its a nice layman term. And one day I hope to photograph pickled brains in jars, next to pickled cauliflowers in jars).

There is always a drawn from an extinct species, as there truly is no other opportunity to see them. (Though there are now rumours that the thylacine may still be alive. I have met an Australian who claims to have seen on in the 1980s. I was skeptical, but who knows?)

However, that isn't my object of the day. It was this young baboon skeleton. (Apologies for the awful reflections though.) I have never seen a skeleton laid out like this. It is like the instructional drawing for some Ikea assembly. And though some wags have done Ikea instructions for many aspects of life, they didn't include this.

(Though, separately for the anthropologists/crytozoologists/alien theorists, I particularly enjoy this illustration for Stonehenge.)

But anyway, I just really like this skeleton. It helps me visualise the layout of bones much better than I've seen before. And by happy coincidence, it is just a month older than me (the layout of the bones, not the age of the baboon). It has just turned 42, which is of course the meaning of life, the universe and everything. So happy birthday, strange skeleton arrangement!

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