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EXHIBITION REVIEW: Bones: Skeleton Secrets of the Animal World @ Great North Museum, Newcastle

February 17, 2017 11:00 am

Running until 14th May, 2017.

For more information, click here.

Review by Robyn Colclough 

Bones Pic

After a recent visit to the new ‘Bones: Skeleton Secrets of the Animal World’ exhibition at the Hancock Museum in Newcastle, the pervading feeling of all in attendance was that the exhibition is a must-see for all those interested in the science of skeletal structures. Running until the 14th of May, ‘Bones’ presents a fantastic collection of teeth, skulls and, of course, bones, that explore the variant anatomical structures of a range of different animals. From the tiny skulls of prepubescent apes, to displays of gigantic whale teeth that hang magnificently from the walls, the exhibition is a fantastic way to learn about the structural bodies of the animals we know and love.

The exhibit itself is very well set out, with an enclosed learning area for kids and opportunities to take part in crafts and games throughout. It is the added touches that make ‘Bones’ such a good place to learn and discover: little facts about the differences in spines, the skeletons that decorate the exhibit as a whole, as well as the chance to take part in fun little activities, such as dressing up and solving puzzles. It is these questions and areas of discovery that make the exhibit more accessible, fun and exciting to visitors of all ages, and ultimately allow you to learn more in the process.

The discovery of new and interesting animals was also a major part of the exhibit. On occasion, I had to ask a friendly member of staff what a certain creature was because I had never heard the name before, and wanted to know more about its biology. This also presented a chance to have some fun with the wide range of skeletons on display, trying to guess which skeletal structure belonged to which animal. I can personally say the hedgehog skeleton was a surprise!

One of the best parts of ‘Bones’ was the wide range of animals that the museum displayed. You could learn about mammals, amphibians, sea life and birds, as all are represented equally. What is more interesting is the proximity of many different types of species, which means that the differences between skeletal structures, and why different anatomies are beneficial to each animal, is clear to see. There was even a hanging a seal and sea turtle skeleton on the ceiling which allowed visitors to see their bone structure from a completely different angle making the whole experience more exciting and interesting.

All in all, ‘Bones’ was a fantastic day out, especially since it feeds well into the other displays in the museum. Although I would say that there was more opportunity to have interesting facts and quizzes about the biology of animals directed at adults, this is only a small critique of a great exhibition. Ultimately, ‘Bones’ is a brilliant way to educate people of all ages about the biology of the earth’s creatures, and a fantastic way to get children actively involved in the discovery of Biology.


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