22 Treasures on View at London's Natural History Museum

© Natural History Museum

What is a treasure when you are choosing from the 70 M specimens in the world's finest natural history museum's collection? The new Treasures gallery at London's Natural History Museum will showcase 22 objects that fit this description. No trees, but just about everything else; from the dodo bird to the Great Auk, from Charles Darwin's pigeons to the UK's only piece of moon rock. All in a shiny new gallery.

Not everyone's idea of a first choice, a stuffed Guy the Gorilla will be on show. He lived at London Zoo from 1946 to 1978 and was so popular that many mourned his death from a heart attack.

© Natural History Museum

Emperor penguin egg: this is one of three eggs collected by Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition in 1910. Three explorers walked 100km in the winter cold and dark to the penguin's breeding colony to find them. Only one man survived.

© Natural History Museum

From the USA, the Audubon Bird's of America; the world's most expensive book. It was first published between 1827 and 1838, and is famous for its 435 life-sized illustrations of birds in their natural habitats.

© Natural History Museum

This is the skull of a north African Barbary lion thought to have lived in the Tower of London around 1280-1385. It would have been the most special animal in the King's collection and is the oldest lion to be found in the UK.

© Natural History Museum

This is a glass model made by the Blaschka family between 1886-89 using techniques now lost. The museum will rotate its 187 anatomical Blaschka models in the gallery.

© Natural History Museum

It's the dodo bird: a dodo skeleton constructed from bones that are around 1,000 years old. The dodo was one of the first cases of human-caused extinction to be recorded.

© Natural History Museum

A collection of Asian butterflies, collected in the 1850's by Alfred Russel Wallace who developed the theory of evolution by natural selection, along with Darwin. But Darwin's name and fame outlives his.

© Natural History Museum

An adult female Neanderthal skull that was the first Neanderthal skull ever discovered and is about 50,000 years old.

Here's the full list:

Alfred Russel Wallace’s insects
Archaeopteryx fossil
Barbary lion skull
The Birds of America book
Blaschka glass models
Charles Darwin’s pigeons
Dodo skeleton
Dwarf elephant tooth
Emperor penguin egg
George Clifford’s herbarium sheet
Great auk
Guy the gorilla
Hans Sloane’s nautilus shell
Iguanodon teeth
Joseph Banks’ herbarium sheet
Moa bone fragment
Moon rock
Neanderthal skull
On the Origin of Species book
Richard Owen painting
William Smith’s ammonites
Wold Cottage meteorite

Tags: Animals | London