IMG 9866 - Museum fish (2)

IMG 9854 - Museum fish (2)
The original Museum Fish feature was a very popular post, a lot of people liked it when this blog was simply known as ‘London Aspie’ on It was published on 1st November 2013.
IMG 9855 - Museum fish (2)
This is a follow up and features those terracotta fish seen in the main museum’s shop. These are far more difficult to photograph because of the different light levels and the many displays which obscure the pillars on which these low relief fish reside.
IMG 9858 - Museum fish (2)
The staff in the museum’s store were surprised I was taking an interest in these fish, since barely anyone bothers to notice these excellent terracotta specimens!
IMG 9866 - Museum fish (2)
The above fish is a coelocanth. Thanks to Alec Lathan for pointing this out.
I couldnt tell you what most of these fish were, one or two obviously look a lot like our common North Sea flat fish, eg the common dab or the flounder, as shown below:
IMG 9873 - Museum fish (2)
Many of these fish are doing something, either eating another fish or a bit of seaweed, or gathering in shoals. They’re not always the sort of marine animals we are familar with for a start. Some of them are clearly excinct animals, like the Trilobite.
IMG 9883 - Museum fish (2)
Alfred Waterhouse, the museum’s architect, designed these fine representations of marine life in the 1880’s.
Again, here’s a link to the Natural History Museum’s website.

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Alec Latham

The fish in the fourth photo down is a coelocanth. It’s the fish that was thought to be long extinct until it was discovered alive and largely unchanged from its own ancient fossils.


Thanks for this! Yes I recall the coelocanth being rediscovered a few years ago. I’ll label the picture so others know what it is.