Greetings from London!  Today we started our day by taking the tube to the British Museum of Natural History.  Once at the museum we took a class picture with Darwin (it’s a tradition) and then split into two groups for our behind-the-scenes tour of the spirit collection at the Darwin Center.  We were able to see the laboratories and offices where  the museum’s scientists work (but no actual scientists because it is Sunday), the Dermestarium where flesh-eating beetles were hard at work (even on a Sunday!) cleaning the soft tissue from a fish skeleton, and some of the museum’s eighty-two million specimens…including a Coelacanth.  We toured the spirit collection where millions of mammals, reptiles and fish are preserved in jars of alcohol.  We even saw some specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself.  The biodiversity of our planet is staggering, and it was sad to learn about the species that are now extinct.    After our time at the Natural History Museum, we met up at The British Museum where each of the students gave a presentation about an object in the Enlightenment Wing.  The students highlighted how the object they chose was linked with the Darwinian themes we have been learning about in our class.  After everyone had completed their presentations, we went over our plans for tomorrow and went our separate ways for the evening.  We will meet early tomorrow for a private tour of Westminster Abbey.  After that we will meet our guide, Dr. David Tucker, for a walking tour of Dickens’ London, and then we will finish our day by attending an evening performance of the “Merry Wives of Windsor” at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Cheers from London!

 

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