The massive Ice Age mammals that lurk in the recesses of the Central Hall, some giant worms and a gigantic gold nugget, these are all highlights of our last summer Night Safari tour on Monday 12 July.
Our fossil mammal expert, Adrian Lister, introduces the Ice Age mammals on the night and gives safari visitors the rare chance to get closer to some of our most iconic Central Hall exhibits, like the Ilford Woolly Mammoth skull and tusks, below left, and our armadillo-like Glyptodon fossil, pictured right.
Upstairs in Central Hall, curator Emma Sherlock and her giant worms lend their charms to the Tree gallery, and mineralogist Mike Rumsey shares some golden moments in the Vault gallery. Museum botanist Sandy Knapp presents her top Museum pieces, Central Hall's botanically illustrated ceiling panels, and butterfly explorer Blanca Huertas reveals her favourite flutterers.
As before, Night Safari visitors can enjoy a drink and snacks at the bar before and after their exclusive tours of Central Hall. There's also a break in the middle of the tour.
Believe it or not, there was actually a proposal of marriage made - and accepted - in The Vault gallery at the last Night Safari in May, by one of the safari visitors. He'd rung the event organisers beforehand to arrange it and said afterwards: 'Not only was the Night Safari so cool, but finishing the night knowing that I will be spending the rest of my life with my girlfriend, is beyond happiness.' How sweet is that and what a place to do it, surrounded by all those gems.
And put this date in your diary. On 1 November, Night Safari returns for a Halloween special.
Back to one of July's highlights ... the Ilford Woolly Mammoth skull and tusks display in Central Hall, shown below, is something to behold. But the enormity of this Essex fossil doesn't really come across here. It's the only complete mammoth skull ever to be found in Britain.
The Ilford Woolly Mammoth model, on the right here, is not on public display, but held in our Palaeontology collection at the Museum