Find the famous Archaeopteryx dino-bird fossil in Trafalgar Square, a 200-million-year-old ammonite on Albert Bridge, Hans Sloane's beautiful carved shell in Sloane Square, or Iguanodon's tooth among Crystal Palace's dinosaur sculptures...
From east to west, inner to outer, there are 12 natural history treasures hiding in 12 London locations and it's your challenge to find and collect them this weekend, 24 and 25 November. Our Treasures: The Hunt game celebrates the Museum's new Treasures gallery, which opens next week and anyone in London can play. There's a great prize up for grabs too.
Discover London's links to the Museum and some of its natural history hotspots this weekend on The Hunt trail. From the Tower of London to Crystal Palace, at 12 locations - some well-known, others less so - you can collect a Museum treasure, revealed in raised drawings on display stands with the Museum's Treasures logo. The Hunt celebrates the opening of our new Treasures gallery on 30 November where 22 of our most valuable and historic objects will go on show. Select the images to enlarge them.
Of course, it's not the real specimens that you'll come across but drawings of them on display stands like the one pictured here (right). At each display you can take a rubbing of the drawing and send this in to us for a chance to win an exclusive party in our new Treasures gallery for you and 25 guests (worth £8,000 I'm told).
All you need to do is download The Hunt map and collection sheet and follow the instructions of how to enter. Or visit one (or as many as you can) of 12 locations in London between 10.00 and 16.00 this weekend, where there are also collection sheets and instructions at the display plinth.
These are the 12 London locations featured on The Hunt trail:
- Trafalgar Square (NB only opens at 12.00 noon on Sunday)
- Tower of London
- Sloane Square
- SouthBank Centre (Riverside)
- Linnean Society, Piccadilly
- Soho Square
- Grant Museum of Zoology (UCL, University Street)
- Kensington Gardens, (Palace Gate)
- Kennington Road (Mead Row/Cosser Street)
- Battersea Park (Albert Bridge)
- Cyrstal Palace Park (Lower lake)
- National Maritime Museum (Greenwich)
You could just visit the nearest place to where you are on the day and submit your collection sheet with just the one rubbing completed or you could become a really dedicated collector and try for all 12; it's possible as one of us did a trial run and visited all the locations in a day! Obviously the more you collect and send in to us, the more chance you'll have of winning the prize.
How to enter The Hunt's free prize draw: At each of the 12 locations you visit, fill the empty jar on the printed collection sheet by doing a rubbing with a crayon or pencil of the drawing on the plinth. Each rubbing proves you have been to that location and each filled jar you send us gives you a chance to enter The Hunt prize draw and win the prize.
London is one of the most intensively investigated areas for archaeology, but it still throws up some surprises. Crocodiles have been found in Islington, a giant ox in Knightsbridge and a rhinoceros under Battersea Power Station. During the building of Trafalgar Square bits of bison were brought up, a spotted hyena, tiny fragments of brown bear and the remains of at least two woolly mammoths.
On The Hunt trail, you'll be surprised by some of London's stories of our early natural history collectors, and find out what the most valuable objects in the Museum's collection are - which will soon be revealed in the Treasures gallery.
Treasures: The Hunt was designed by the social games studio Hide&Seek. Its director Alex Fleetwood, says: ‘There are so many sites across London that have amazing natural history stories attached – weird things that happened there, unlikely animals, hidden rivers. We're sending people out on a treasure hunt with a difference to explore these sites – and the more of them they visit, the greater their chances of winning the great prize.'