This year a selection of the 70 million specimens looked after by the museum will be displayed in the Museum’s public galleries. The collections include the skeleton of the Thames whale, which stranded in the River Thames in January 2006 and Guy the gorilla, who takes pride of place in the temporary Sexual Nature exhibition (opening on 11 February).
Last week also saw the launch of the First Time Out project with a Museum giant lemur cranium and mandible going on display for the first time.
The Museum’s collections are unusual as they are also used by scientists in their research into biodiversity issues such as climate change or malaria eradication.
And if you’d like to get behind the scenes to see more of the Museum’s specimen collections, there are free daily guided tours that give you a glimpse of the 27 km of shelves and tanks holding creatures such as the giant squid and colossal squid.