Survey of the Animal Kingdom exhibit in the Natural History Gallery in Horniman Museum aims to present representative examples from all major groups of animals. In essence, this is an object-based textbook of zoological classification. This kind of museum-based survey is grounded in 19th century systematic collections and display. The exhibit includes skeletons, preserved or “wet” specimens, dissections, models, and drawings. This page presents a photo gallery. It is not a complete record of the exhibit.
The exhibit has three major elements. The first element is a brief introductory, consisting of cases on (1) classification, (2) comparative anatomy (distinguishing homology and analogy), (3) specialisation and convergence, (4) development, (5) fossils, and (6) distribution.
The second element surveys animal phyla, classes, and orders for across the whole animal Kingdom, with one exception. This covers a tremendous variety of organisms. It wraps around the outer wall of the balcony. (The ribbon of cases wrapped around the balcony railing presents British fossil flora and fauna from the Cambrian to the present.)
The third element presents primates (monkeys, apes, and humans) in cases on the ground floor of the Natural History Gallery. Partly this placement is due to space considerations. It also allows primate displays to be located in proximity to the related Evidences of Evolution and Evolution of Man exhibits.
The images in these series are comprehensive for the introductory element, sampling for the balcony element, and comprehensive for the primates.
The museum published a visitor’s handbook to the survey. Henry Neal Milligan FZS (1882–1967) wrote the first and second editions. Gordon Ernest Williams FLS (1911–1989) wrote the third and fourth editions. These were published as:
- Milligan, Henry Neal (1914) A handbook to the collections illustrating a survey of the animal kingdom (London, London County Council), Horniman Museum and Library Publications 12.
- Milligan, Henry Neal (1922) A handbook to the collections illustrating a survey of the animal kingdom. Second edition (London, London County Council).
- Williams, Gordon Ernest (1959) A handbook to the collections illustrating a survey of the animal kingdom. Third edition (London, London County Council).
- Williams, Gordon Ernest (1969) A survey of the animal kingdom. Fourth edition (London, Inner London Education Authority)
The primate material also is described in a related handbook by Harrison (1920). Indeed, the frontispiece shown a male orang-utan taxidermic specimen mounted precisely as it still appears in the relevant case. This publication is Harrison, Herbert Spencer (1920) The ascent of man. A handbook to the cases illustrating the structure of man and the great apes(London, London County Council), Horniman Museum and Library Publications 13.
Cases associated with Survey of Animal Kingdom exhibit (ground floor cases) cluster on the southeast side of the ground floor. A case list is available on Natural History Gallery.
Exhibit cases in Survey of the Animal Kingdom (introduction)
Exhibit cases in Survey of the Animal Kingdom (balcony)
Exhibit cases in Survey of the Animal Kingdom (ground floor)
Floor Plan of Survey of the Animal Kingdom (ground floor)