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Oxford University Museum of Natural History's anniversary
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History will mark 150 years with a series of special exhibitions

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

The Grade 1 listed building houses the university's scientific collections of zoological, entomological and geological specimens.

It was the setting for the famous showdown in 1860 between the Bishop of Oxford Samuel Wilberforce and Thomas Henry Huxley.

They were hotly debating Charles Darwin's Origin of Species.

Its famous features include the Oxfordshire dinosaurs, the dodo, and the swifts in the tower.

The museum's year-long programme of special events includes high-profile lectures from the likes of Sir David Attenborough, George McGavin and Marcus de Sautoy.

There will be a number of special exhibitions such as the Wonderland of Natural History 1860-2010.

"Our 150th anniversary year comes at a time when the reputation of the Museum and the contribution it makes to the University and city has never been higher," said Director of the Museum Jim Kennedy.

"With over half a million visitors in 2009, and tens of thousands of school pupils coming through our doors each year we are one of the most visited places in Oxford."

Oxford dodo
The museum houses the most complete remains of a single dodo anywhere in the world

BBC Oxford are taking a closer look at some of the museum's most fascinating exhibits with the help of the Dodo, the museum's mascot...

Swifts have been nesting at the museum for over 10 years and can be viewed via CCTV.

You can see the bones of the Megalosaurus found by Oxford Naturalist, William Buckland, in the early 1800s in Stonesfield.

The Nantan Meteorite is part of the "touchables" display the museum uses to encourage a more hands on approach.

There is the statue of Charles Darwin that adorns the pillars that support the upper gallery.

And find out more about the model of Planet Earth made on a scale of one to 4 thousand million to represent the real distance between the Sun and the Earth.

Voice of the Dodo: Peter Hearn - Storyteller, author, poet, musician

Voice of the exhibits: Ralph Jones & Thom Short of The Awkward Silence, an Oxford-based comedy group




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