Sexual Nature opens at the Natural History Museum, London, on Friday 11 February 2011
A London icon, western lowland gorilla Guy was made famous during his residency at London Zoo. He will return to the limelight 33 years after his death, in a new exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum, opening in 2011.
Guy the gorilla, whose body was donated to the Museum’s research collection in 1978, has not been on display since the 1980s. A superb specimen of masculinity, with a chest measurement of 183 centimetres and a neck circumference of almost a metre, Guy will take pride of place in the Sexual Nature exhibition to help show the behavioural strategy of dominant males.
Wild male gorillas dominate harems of females and use muscle to defend feeding territories. Many other animals, including stags and sperm whales, compete with each other for a piece of the action and this specimen rich exhibition will include more than 100 real Museum specimens, allowing visitors to experience the diversity of methods exploited in seduction and reproduction when it opens on Friday 11 February 2011.
Tate Greenhalgh, exhibition developer at the Natural History Museum, said ‘Using specimens from the Museum’s vast collections Sexual Nature will reveal the intimate side of nature and explore how scientists are laying bare the facts of life. Guy is a great example of a dominant male. Male gorillas need to be big to compete for harems of females and defend their territories. The exhibition will also explore the vast diversity of other animal domestic arrangements, for example, hyena species with dominant females and seahorses in which the male gives birth.’
From the eye-watering: the barnacle's penis measures up to 30 times its body length, to the eye-popping: large testes can indicate highly promiscuous species, Sexual Nature will take a provocative look at the birds and the bees. Anything goes in the animal kingdom and visitors to Sexual Nature will be asked to leave preconceptions at the door to discover the science of sex.
Tickets are now available at www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/coming-soon
Sexual Nature contains frank information and imagery about sex.
More about western lowland gorillas and Guy:
* If you are a UK taxpayer and pay the Gift Aid admission ticket price, the Natural History Museum can reclaim the tax on the whole ticket price you pay. For every £100 worth of tickets sold, we can claim an extra £28 from Government. This means you can further support the work of the Museum. The standard admission charges are adult £8, concession £4 and family £21. The right of entry is the same for visitors with or without the voluntary donation.