Museum of Natural History opens to public

Wednesday 25 August 2004

The Bell-Pettigrew museum, situated within the Bute Medical School, houses a large number of exhibits including a full-scale camel skeleton and 400 year old fossil parts of the extinct bird, the Dodo.

Visitors will be able to explore the diversity of the animal kingdom through specific examples from the first unicellular animal to insects, fish, birds and mammals. Part of the learning experience will include insights into a diverse array of animals such as snails, woodlice, sea cucumbers, sharks, lizards, anteaters, kangaroos, fruit bats, Indian porcupines, elephants and hippos.

Entry to the open day is free and staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Dr Martin Milner, a lecturer in Biology and curator of the Museum said: “This is a rare opportunity to visit and enjoy one of Scotland’s best Zoology collections.”

The exhibits include extinct species such as the Passenger pigeon and Tasmanian wolf, a collection of antelope heads, birds from America, the UK, the Orient, Australasia and Ethiopia, and a wide-ranging collection of invertebrates including a huge spider crab from Japan. Also on display is a collection of harpoons and knives from Scotland’s past whaling industry, and scientific instruments including microscopes used in the University over the past century.

Many of the exhibits date from the nineteenth century, and the Museum building was erected using a donation from the widow of James Bell Pettigrew, a Professor of Anatomy who died in 1908.

The Bell Pettigrew Museum is open to the public on Sunday 5th September from 12pm – 5pm. Access to the museum is via St Mary’s Quad, South Street, St Andrews. Enter the building at door C. Activities for all ages will be provided and entry is free of charge.

Museum website:


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