• DUNUC 837 Goniopsis cruentata, crab, from Bermuda
  • DUNUC 9959 Microscope slide, diatoms
The D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum cares for 27 specimens from the HMS Challenger (1872-76) voyage. 

HMS Challenger and the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum

The HMS Challenger specimens were donated by two men:
  • George Dickie – a Scottish scientist who worked on the marine algae from the voyage
  • D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson – founder of the museum 

D’Arcy Thompson was the first Chair of Biology at the University College Dundee in 1885. He was a well respected teacher, author and active scientist. He was particularly interested in the shape of marine invertebrates, the way they grew and the mathematics behind it. His book, ‘On Growth and Form’, is well known. In it he includes an analysis of Haeckel’s drawings of radiolaria in the HMS Challenger report.

Thompson founded the University’s Zoology museum and is responsible for the accumulation of many of the specimens it holds.

About the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum

The University of Dundee has over 30,000 historic artefacts, artworks and specimens acquired during the 134 years of the institution's existence. These are cared for by Museum Services. The D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum part of this service.

Wider collections

The University's museum collections cover a rich variety of subjects, from early teaching equipment to natural history specimens to fine and applied art. The collections can be explored online.


Using the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum’s data

Permission has been given to use specimen information and photos in accordance with the HMS Challenger Project IPR Statement.


Please email the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology museum with enquiries about their collection.