Welcome back , you are logged in

Gallery 20 will be closed from 12 noon Tuesday 26 September until 12 noon Thursday 28 September

Water deer skull from RAMM's mammals collection

Water deer skull from RAMM's mammals collection

Mammals

Mammals are the group of warm-blooded animals to which humans belong and so contain some of our closest relatives. The egg-laying platypus and echidnas are also mammals, but with a very different evolutionary history. Mammals include the largest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale, and the tallest animal alive today, the giraffe.

RAMM’s large and impressive mounted specimens include the giant eland, the largest of antelopes and the tiger, presented by King George V. Marine mammals have also featured in the collection since 1875 and 1876 when fin whales were cast ashore at Teignmouth and Beer. Both specimens were purchased as skeletons for the Museum, though not in their entirety. Smaller whales and dolphins have since been acquired and prepared as skeletons.

Gerald the giraffe

Gerald the giraffe is one of RAMM’s most iconic specimens. This adult male giraffe has been an extremely popular exhibit at the Museum since 1920. He is a bull giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi) and would have been an outstanding animal when alive.

In 1901 he encountered big game hunter Charles Victor Alexander Peel at Moshi, Kenya, close to the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in what were German Territories. This encounter was to elevate him to iconic status far from his birthplace.

Smaller mammals

Although large mammals are the attraction for visitors, it is the smaller mammals and specimen fragments that add scientific value to a collection. Unlike birds they have not been collected for aesthetic reasons, and they are not usually mounted in lifelike poses. Even so, a collection of local species gives us a useful ecological insight as small mammals play a part in our immediate environment and everyday lives.

Often the specimens are just skins, or skins that have been stuffed with a material such as wood wool to give a rounded shape. Other specimens are mounted on a card ‘finger’ to give the skins some support.

Not just your average moles…

A variety of other animals are caught in traps that are designed to catch mammals (such as rats, mice, grey squirrels and moles) which are considered to be pests. Occasionally both the intentionally caught species, and the ‘by-catch’, are offered to the Museum. Moles were trapped in such huge numbers that no-one seemed to bother much about having representative specimens in the collection, but it appears that nearly all the albino, ginger or otherwise unusually coloured moles were retained. Most of the moles collected up to the last quarter of the 20th century were unusual colour variants. Casual collecting became a more important source of material after this period.

Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions (Terms) apply to the entire contents of this website. Please read these Terms carefully before using this website. Using this website indicates that you accept these Terms. If you do not accept these Terms, please do not use this website.
  1. These Terms shall constitute an agreement between you and us and shall set out the conditions upon which you may access the information available on this website
  2. We reserve the right to change these Terms, at any time and to notify you by posting an updated version of these Terms on this website, at which point they will become immediately effective
  3. Your continued use of this website after any changes referred to in clause 2 shall constitute your consent to such changes
  4. Access to this website may be suspended temporarily and without notice in the case of system failure, maintenance or repair, or for reasons beyond our control
  5. We reserve the right to, without notice, withdraw the availability of this website or any of its content and/or any of its functions, information or services
  6. We cannot guarantee uninterrupted and/or reliable access to this website and we make no guarantees whatsoever as to its operation, functionality or otherwise
  7. You are allowed to view, download and print out content from this website for personal use only in accordance with these Terms. All other copying whether electronic, hard copy or other format is prohibited and all other rights are reserved
  8. You shall only use this website in a manner that is consistent with these Terms and in such a way as to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and in particular, that you shall not (or not attempt to):
    • seek unauthorised access to our network or computer system
    • insert or knowingly or recklessly transmit or distribute a virus into our network and computer systems
  9. All copyright and all other intellectual property rights existing in this website (including, but not limited to, all design, text, graphics and the selection or arrangement thereof) are and remain our property
  10. The expression 'copyright' shall include the entire copyright, design right, rental right, right to authorise or prohibit lending and data right subsisting now or created at any time
  11. While we endeavour to ensure that the information contained on this website is accurate, complete and up-to-date, we make no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of such information
  12. We make no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, that this website or any software of any nature available on, downloaded or otherwise obtained from it, will be free from defects or viruses. Your use of this website is at your own risk
  13. We make no representations or warranties as to whether the information available on this website complies with the regulatory regime of countries from which the pages of this website may be accessed
  14. We may log your IP address (which indicates the location of your computer on the Internet) for the purpose of systems administration and troubleshooting.
  15. If you provide your e-mail address in order to submit an enquiry, comment or request for further information, we may contact you regarding your enquiry, comment or request. We may also send e-mails to you about the services that we offer.
  16. From time to time we may provide your information to our marketing or IT departments for research and analysis purposes so that we can monitor and improve the services we provide. We may occasionally contact you by post, email or telephone to ask you for your feedback and comments on our services.
  17. The failure by us to insist on any occasion upon performance of these Terms shall not thereby act as a waiver of such a breach or an acceptance of any variation of these Terms
  18. A person who is not a party to these Terms may not enforce any of its terms or conditions under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
  19. These Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in all respects in accordance with the Laws of England