This is a wax model of Proavis currently in hospital with the Grant Museum conservator for a hardcore manicure and pedicure. This specimen has been bent, melted and almost thrown away over the years and is in need of many repairs.
This model is of a theoretical animal called Proavis. Model after the running Proavis as imagined by Franz Nopcsa, 1907.
Little was known about this specimen until it was featured in the Annual Grant Museum Friend's Newsletter. One of the museum's friends remembers this specimen very well and got in touch shedding light on the history of 'the ballerina'
The specimen was alleged tipped for disposal from another University Museum but was saved by Dr Michael Coates who fell in love with the specimen. They brought the specimen to UCL where it lived in his office for many years. Eventually, Dr Coates left UCL to go to America and because of its fragile condition, donated the model to the care and collections of the Grant Museum.
Proavis was on display for many years and was taken away for conservation last week. The specimen has lost a number of claws on the hands and feet and needs a new case.
The story of Proavis is written up here Ries, C. J. (2007). Creating the Proavis: bird origins in the art and science of Gerhard Heilmann 1913-1926. Archives of Natural History, 34(1), 1-19.
There are no tales for this thing!