The Natural Stuff Collection

Jonathan McGowan's Natural History Collections

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57 files, last one added on Jul 18, 2012
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Antlers and Horns


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Roe Deer Antlers


Deer grow antlers annually, unlike horns that grow continually throughout an animals life, and shed them after a rutting season. Most deer species grow antlers during the summertime or wet season, when the most nutrients are within the plants they eat. Growing large bone appendages on ones head takes a lot of effort and so it must correspond with warmth, good food and health. Most deer species have large antlers and the larger the deer, the larger the antlers and it just happens that most large deer species inhabit the cooler or seasonal parts of the world as opposed to the tropics. Sambar and chital are exceptions.

Roe on the other hand live in northern climates and grow small antlers. They are small deer and they can afford to grow them during the winter time. In regions that are lush in green plants, the roe have larger antlers and especially in chalk districts and calcium is needed to grow bone, and as antlers are made of bone then calcium can only be good for them.

The best roe heads I have come from chalky districts. I have always loved deer especially the roe. There is more diversity within roe antlers than any other deer species. Caribou may come in second place. No roe antlers look the same. There are regional variations and a typical type within a certain region. Roe antlers also are very prone to damage.

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Dentition and Ivory


Tusks and teeth of animals.

I have always been fascinated by animal tusks and teeth. I love them and when I was a child I used to find all manner of wild animal teeth. I loved the enamel finish to them, the smooth feel, colour and hardness. Skulls were amazing, the structure of a mammal skull was detailed, awesome and when the jaws were moved up and down they had some kind of immense attraction. White glowing teeth on bone, with power and weaponry or simply eating tools were something that I had to acquire. I have possessed all kinds of wild animal skulls in the past from fish, reptiles, mammals and birds but I have narrowed down my collection to just a few of my best. I would like to share my collection with you.

The poor animals died in vain in horrible ways I suspect, and to use their parts for educational purposes, to show the beauty and usage is the least I can do for them. Also I love the artwork that man has incorporated into them. As an artist myself, I respect the time and effort put into carving hard ivory.

It is just a shame that elephants are still poached and go through so much pain and stress just because the western world insists on keeping third world countries in poverty. Poverty is the route to much evil, and tradition oriental medicines are also responsible for the destruction of wildlife throughout the earth and the extinction of many animals and plants. Who is going to stop china? Nobody? Then we can say goodbye to tigers, leopards, elephants, rhino, bears, snakes, turtles, seals, and almost all species of wildlife on Earth. China is the biggest source of illegal trade in animal parts and is responsible for terrible crime. All world nations are responsible for all manner of moral crimes against nature, but China beats them all.

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My collections of dried insects.

Many of my collections are not labelled and many are unidentified but are possibly common species. Many are recent and are not listed in CITES. Many are home reared. I have received large collections of British lepidoptera in the past, many years ago and I still have most of it. Some of my collections were destroyed by museum beetles but much has survived. My best collections fortunately have survived.

This collection comprises of a large majority of British moths and all the British butterflies. This particular collection had been collected between 1915 and 1940.

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Art in Nature


Man-made carvings in natural objects

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Fossils of animals, trace fossils, rocks and minerals

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