Since I started this tumblr I’ve written a lot about taxidermy. But I can’t believe I haven’t written specifically about Russian taxidermy before. What’s wrong me? The Museum of the Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg is one of the largest of its kind in the world and Russia’s most popular museum. The museum has been in its current location since 1898 and has a collection that consists of over 17 million species, though only 500 thousand can be displayed at one time. This means there are 16,500,000 dead animals boxed and stuffed in a warehouse somewhere. How cool! Once during my museology student days I got a private, behind-the-scenes tour. The curator proudly showed me shelves upon shelves of dead birds, including the famous Darwin finch. Sometimes it’s amazing to think what’s NOT on display. Think about that next time you visit one of the big museums.