The Zoology Museum

The ape skeletons

The museum is fortunate to have skeletons of one living species of lesser ape, the gibbon Hylobates sp. and most of the species of great ape; human Homo sapiens, chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, gorilla Gorilla gorilla, and orangutan Pongo abelii

The skeletons were originally housed in The Aberdeen University Anatomy Museum. It likely that they were obtained by Sir John Struthers who was Regius Professor in Anatomy at Aberdeen from 1863-1889. The place where the animals were collected is unknown and it is unknown whether they were wild or zoo animals.

John Struthers stressed the comparative approach in his teaching of human anatomy and to help him do this he built up a large collection of mammalian skeletal material, including an Indian elephant and a number of large whales.

Lowland gorilla Gorilla gorilla

These are the skeletons of a male and female gorilla. The male, on the right, is notably more massively built than is the female, particularly the large crests on the skull which act as anchors for the powerful jaw and neck muscles. The skeletons are displayed in a life-like posture against a background painting of the gorillas' rainforest home. The painting, by the Aberdeen artist Evelyn Oliver, was specially commissioned in 2000. The lighting in the case is of a green hue to represent conditions in the African rain forest.

The skeletons were originally housed in The Aberdeen University Anatomy Museum. It likely that they were obtained by John Struthers who was Regius Professor in Anatomy at Aberdeen from 1863-1889. The place where the animals were collected is unknown and it is unknown whether they were wild or zoo animals.

John Struthers stressed the comparative approach in his teaching of human anatomy and to help him do this he built up a large collection of mammalian skeletal material, including an Indian elephant and a number of large whales.