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Carnivores

YOU ARE IN: Natural History; Zoology; Mammals Carnivores

Glasgow Museums has a collection of approximately 430 specimens representing carnivores. These date from 1810 to 2008.

This collection consists of around 103 mounted specimens, 82 skins, 176 skulls or skeletons and a few miscellaneous specimens. Together these represent at least 58 species. There is a good series of skins of British mustelids (weasels, stoats, otters etc) and of several large cats, including excellent recent mounts of a clouded leopard and a cheetah, and a leopard mounted by Thomas Hall in about 1810. There are also several specimens of the Scottish wildcat. Other notable specimens include hybrid lion and tiger cubs, the skeleton of ‘Orinoco’, the brown bear from Edinburgh Zoo, an early wolverine from the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons and a leopard seal from the Scottish Antarctic Expedition. About a third of the collection comes from localities in Scotland, with other specimens originating from England, Wales, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Germany, Malawi, Uganda, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Burma, Australia, the USA and Canada. There are also several specimens from zoos.

Carnivores all have one thing in common – their ancestors had a pair of slicing teeth, known as carnassials. Many living carnivores no longer possess these teeth and have adapted to omnivorous (mixed) or largely vegetarian diets. Carnivores include weasels, skunks, racoons, red panda, seals, walrus, bears, dogs, hyaenas, cats, mongooses, Malagasy carnivores and civets.