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Leeds museum's dental detectives find huge hippo's missing tooth

2022-5-15 10:36| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 27| 评论: 0

摘要: The hippo skull has been part of the Leeds collection since 1982The remains of a colossal hippo skull are to go on display in Leeds after experts turned detective to find one of its teeth lost in the ...


The hippo skull has been part of the Leeds collection since 1982

The remains of a colossal hippo skull are to go on display in Leeds after experts turned detective to find one of its teeth lost in the archives.

The hippo skull first became part of the Leeds City Museum collection after it was transferred from Salford Museum and Art Gallery in 1982.

But while preparing it for its latest display, museum staff carried out a lengthy search for its massive incisor.

Clare Brown, from the museum, said the task was like "a very complex jigsaw".

The hippo skullIMAGE SOURCE,LEEDS CITY MUSEUM
Image caption,
Experts have been putting the hippo's skull together ahead of it going on display in the summer

Ms Brown, Leeds Museums and Galleries curator of natural sciences, said it took a lengthy search through a collection of possible candidates for the dental detectives to correctly pinpoint the correct tooth and carefully put it back into place.

She said: "Fragments can often get mixed up over time when they're part of such a vast collection.

"It's always incredibly satisfying when we're able to find precisely the right pieces that will make a specimen complete and properly representative of the incredible animal it once was."

The Armley HippoIMAGE SOURCE,LEEDS CITY MUSEUM
Image caption,
The Armley Hippo is the most northerly specimen of its kind found in the UK

The hippo skull will join a prehistoric line-up at Leeds City Museum alongside what has become known as the "Armley Hippo".

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The remains of the Armley Hippo were discovered in 1851 by workmen digging clay near what is now the Armley Gyratory.

Quickly realising they did not belong to any human or animal alive at the time, they took them to Henry Denny, curator of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society Museum, who proclaimed them to be bones of the Great Northern Hippopotamus.

The hippo skullIMAGE SOURCE,LEEDS CITY MUSEUM
Image caption,
While preparing it for display, staff discovered one of the hippo's enormous teeth was missing

Mr Denny visited the site of the find many times to collect bone specimens, including some huge thigh bones and some teeth.

After being dated using one of its teeth, the hippo was estimated to be from 130,000 to 117,000 years ago.

The rare skeleton is one of the museum's most famous exhibits.

Both the Armley Hippo and hippo skull will be on display at Leeds City Museum's Life on Earth Gallery when it reopens in the summer following a refurbishment.


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