A Crucial Difference

Celebrating Diversity in Nature

7th April to 30th June 2010

North Cloisters, Main Building, Gower Street, UCL, WC1E 6BT

As part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, UCL Museums & Collections organised an exhibition celebrating the diversity with our collections.

The four cases contained sets of objects from two natural history collections at UCL – the Grant Museum of Zoology and UCL Geology Collections. At first glance each object may appear to have been the same.

In natural history there are no duplicates – every specimen is unique. For students and researchers at UCL, the existence of several examples of the same specimen type is crucial to the way their subjects are taught and studied. For a scientific theory to be tested many samples must be collected and analysed. It is only by understanding the variation within a group that its limits can be determined, and its relationships described.

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is essential to sustaining the living systems that provide us with health, wealth, food, fuel and the vital services on which our lives depend. This exhibition celebrates some of that variety.

To view each case click on the images below:

View a video about the exhibition, and how it was put together, here:


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Treasured islanders
Mice skeletons in glass vials

Mice skeletons

Small, but perfectly formed
Micropalaeontology faunal slides

Micropalaentology faunal slides

Fire and Brimstone
Volcanic rocks from Italian volcanoes

Igneous rocks

Dog and Bone
Jackal skulls

Jackal skulls
Grant Museum of Zoology logo UCL Geology Collections International Year of Biodiversity