Sunday, April 24, 2011

Portraits

Recently, I took another trip to the mammal division at the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology. The last time I visited, all of the donated African animal trophy mounts were resting on the tables, gazing skyward -- a bit of a bizarre sight. They have since been hung on the walls, giving the classroom the appearance of a trophy hunter's den. When they're hanging, the mounts seem even more impressive; the giant eland looked positively, well, giant. Now oriented correctly, the animals were less awkward and more regal, which provided for some interesting portrait opportunities.

Portrait II

Portrait I

Of the donated mounts, one of my favorites is the mule deer, one of the few, if any animals from the bunch that wasn't shot in Africa. The taxidermist who prepared the mount did a masterful job. The deer has such a well-crafted expression of both curiosity and seriousness, and it seems more natural and alive than any of the other mounts displayed.

Mule Deer

There were a few other animals on display, much older mounts that I hadn't seen the last time I visited. One of them was a Sun Bear, also known as a Malayan Bear or Honey Bear.

Sun Bear

Nearby was a bobcat, forever immortalized with that signature manufactured snarl.

Bobcat

The next post will explore a different part of the mammal division, one I hadn't visited before: the fluids range!

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