As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Egg accidentally cracked by Charles Darwin goes on display

Darwin's mistake among exhibits in show on birds' cultural impact at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

The Guardian, Monday 26 May 2014 18.54 BST

An egg mistakenly cracked by Charles Darwin is among the items in The Wonder of Birds exhibit. Photograph: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery


It is an unassuming object, a smallish, strangely glossy brown egg, and it is broken because of the carelessness of the last person you would expect – Charles Darwin.

"He squashed it into too small a box and it cracked, unfortunately," said curator Francesca Vanke, explaining the state of the spotted tinamou egg going on display at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

The object is the only known surviving egg from Darwin's HMS Beagle voyage during the 1830s. Probably drawn to its glossy sheen, Darwin signed it C. Darwin and brought it back to Britain after collecting it in Uruguay.

The egg was discovered by a volunteer in the collections of theUniversity Museum of Zoology in Cambridge five years ago and goes on display in Norwich as part of a summer art show exploring the cultural impact of birds.

"It is a coup," said Vanke, "but we have lots of coups."

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