This week started the same as the others, with more shell cleaning, this week it was some rather amazing looking Jamaican snail shells, some as small as 2mm across, thankfully all remained intact after my ministrations. We also got to watch as a whale skeleton was moved, so that parts of it could be cleaned and then put back. Apparently it is a Cuvier's Beaked Whale and shall be displayed when the museum re-opens.
The most fun part of the week, however, was Friday when we were checking the herbarium for pests; whilst vacuuming and checking we found many things, chunks of rock with 100 year old lichen on, huge dried mushrooms in old soap boxes, and lots of plant samples in old envelopes with Victorian stamps on. My fellow intern found a book-louse, a tiny little thing which enjoys munching on books and suchlike objects.
After finding this, the box it was in was quickly wrapped with polythene and parcel tape to be frozen, whilst this may seem mean to the louse, it is apparently a humane (louse-ane?) way of killing them. Museum pests are actually quite interesting and some are moderately cute even if they are in the wrong place, drugstore beetle is my current favourite.
Fleur's bosses at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum have been kind enough to allow her to write this blog, even though it is not usually their policy to allow such things. We would like to thank them for this, and to point out that all pictures of museum specimens are copyright to the RAMM