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British Museum (Natural History): Acquisitions

Nature volume 140, pages 764765 (30 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE most important recent zoological accession to the Zoological Department of the British Museum (Natural History) is perhaps a collection of mammals and birds made by Messrs. Charles and Edward G. Bird in the Mygybukta region of North East Greenland. The collection is of special interest since it contains examples in breeding plumage and chicks of birds well known in the British Isles in winter, such as the knot, sanderling, turnstone and brent goose. There are also specimens of the ptarmigan in breeding plumage, as well as young birds and small ducklings of the king eider—a rare visitor to Britain. Among the mammals are specimens of the lemming, skulls and skeletons of arctic foxes, and various seals. Another important acquisition to the Department is the mounted head of a chobe situtunga (Limnotragus spekei selousi) presented by Major Henry Abel Smith. This rare antelope is known only from about a dozen specimens and enjoys a distribution to the south of the Zambesi between the Chobe Swamps and Lake Ngami in Bechuanaland. Among the accessions to the Department of Entomology is the very valuable collection of butterflies formed by Major P. P. Graves in the Near East, particularly in Palestine, Asia Minor, Syria, the southern Balkans and Greece. This collection is made up of more than 9,000 specimens, and is particularly rich in material from historic localities which were extensively worked by German and Austrian collectors in the middle of the last century.

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