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A-Level study days

Manchester student with Phylomedusine treefrogI have just heard news from Louise Sutherland, our super enthusiastic Curator of Learning (Secondary and Post-16), that due to the massive amount of interest in our newest A-Level offering, ‘Frogs and Physics’, it is to be extended. The sessions, developed in collaboration with Louise and also Dr Mark Dickinson, are now fully booked. However, the decision means many other schools interested in booking the free sessions will a get a great further opportunity.  

The unique session, based in the Museum and the Photon Science Institute at Manchester, allows students to get to grips with the latest hi-tech equipment and to understand how this is helping us investigate the optical and structural properties of amphibian skin:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7464437.stm  

 For further details on the A-Level sessions, please see below: 



To keep up to date with all the freshest Manchester Museum news why not keep on eye on our twitter page: http://twitter.com/mcrmuseum

Stop Press! Fijian Iguana exclusive footage!

We have just witnessed a most amazing scene at the Manchester Museum – our rare Fijian Iguana has just laid 4 large eggs right in front of our very eyes!  We knew she was nearly ready for laying, and so had taken her off display several weeks ago in preparation, but to be able to catch the very moment she is laying her eggs is so incredible. To our excitement, early this morning she started carefully digging a little tunnel in the soil at the bottom of her vivarium. We knew the egg laying was really imminent but these beautiful lizards normally lay their eggs underground, well away from prying eyes. However, because our Iggy is so unstressed, she must have felt happy to have started laying them from the surface, over the hole, and in our full view. 

It’s been absolutely amazing to watch, particularly as we’ve never heard of anyone in the world ever witnessing this sight before. We’ve obviously had no time to prepare a camera for this unexpected spectacle but, in an effort to share it with you, Steve Devine, our Digital Media Developer, reacted quickly and actually managed to catch the exact moment she laid her fourth egg – by using a mobile phone. As for the eggs, they may not be Orange, but their future certainly looks bright!

Chameleon competition winners!

Due to the number of super entries for our ‘Name the Chameleon’ Competition it has been extremely difficult choosing a winner. However, after much deliberation we considered that the name ‘Rainbow’ would most suit our beautiful lizard.  Our overall winner is Harry Ovey, aged 13, from London, who, as well as coming up with the winning name, also provided a great description of why Chameleons are so special. Many congratulations to Harry, who will be receiving a copy of David Attenborough’s book ‘Life in Cold Blood’ and a special tour of the vivarium for him and his 11yr old sister. Out of all the entries we had, we actually had 3 other people who came up with the winning name; Sazia Akchtar, age 4, from Portsmouth, and Jake and Samson Yallop, aged 10, from Leicester. As joint winners, I am very pleased to say that they have also be invited to come and meet our chameleon again in person and have a super behind the scenes museum visit.  Many congratulations to all our winners and many thanks to everyone who entered!

Norway visit!

norway viewFor the past week or so I have been on holiday in Norway, embracing the elements whilst boating, walking and climbing as high as 3000ft with friends and family.  Norway is just such an incredible country and  I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the outdoors.

Norway school pic


Yesterday I also conducted a presentation on frogs and my amphibian conservation work for local pupils at Kannik School in Stavanger; it was a real pleasure to do. The whole visit has been a wonderful experience and my sincere thanks go to Susanne and Ola Ur for their great hospitality and friendship.


Norwegian Communication of Science initiative: http://www.forskningsdagene.no/artikkel/vis.html?tid=30355

School: http://www.linksidene.no/minskole/Kannik/pilot.nsf/vindex?Opennavigator&count=10