South Shields Museum invites people to pick over the bones of history

Pick the bones out of these
Pick the bones out of these

Visitors to South Shields Museum and Art Gallery are being invited to pick the bones out of a new exhibition.

Bones: Skeleton Secrets of the Animal World opens at the museum - in Ocean Road - next weekend.

The exhibits include a perfect skeleton of a coiled snake, a young chimp or a polar bear skull

They are among almost a hundred different animal bones in an exhibition which features complete animal skeletons - from a cat, fox and pangolin to fossil fish, the pelvis of a now–extinct Dodo and the skulls of predators like lions and the jaws of sharks.

The exhibition displays items from the Great North Museum, drawn from the Natural History Society of Northumbria’s (NHSN) extensive ‘bone store’.

Geoff Woodward, manager of South Shields Museum & Art Gallery said: “These bones are truly fascinating. They really do instil a sense of wonder at the natural world and offer a rare opportunity to witness the beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom.

“Thank you to the Great North Museum: Hancock and the Natural History Society of Northumbria for loaning us these items from their stunning collections.”

With interactive areas throughout the exhibition like a giant xylophone, activity table and a bone handling dome, visitors can discover what lies beneath the scales, feathers and skin of living creatures.

The NHSN is custodian to items that have been in museums or personal collections for over 200 years and come from a variety of places.

In Victorian times - before photography was widely used and when travel was mostly restricted to the wealthy - zoological specimens were often seen as a window to other unseen or unknown worlds.

Bones: Skeleton Secrets of the Animal World exhibition opens on Saturday, November 11 and runs until April.