Feeling articulate

So, I’m currently reading Dry Store Room #1, a book about the experience of working at the Natural History Museum in London.

It’s a great book by an author who is both a Fellow of the Royal Society (Britain’s pre-eminent scientific body) and the Royal Academy of Literature (same for writing). Highly recommended.

So naturally, I’m thinking in terms of museum preparation when I come across this comic:

And my immediate reaction: this is a museum diorama and not a good one. Real skeletons in the real environment do not look like that. The bones separate and are strewn about, they don’t look like an anatomy-teaching specimen you might find in a medical school–those are wired together to show the normal relationship of the bones. Also, in a real desert everything from ants up to condors would be ripping the corpse apart and taking away useful bits for their own (digestive) purposes, scattering the bones further. The only way real bones stay close together is by getting suddenly buried, for instance by volcanic ash.

No, it isn’t important. No, I’m not criticizing Dave Blazek. Yes, I think my own idiosyncratic reaction was weird enough to be worth posting.

This is a very rare double-post (the only one) between this and my other blog at Nitpicking.com.

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