A huddle of specialised staff at Dublin's "dead zoo" perform a high-wire puzzle, delicately disassembling two whale skeletons that have dangled airborne for over a century. Nigel Monaghan, who as keeper of the Natural History Museum is in charge of the extensive, and sometimes alarming, collection of taxidermied creatures within, looks on. "Dismantling a whale skeleton when you have no manual and user guide, you're relying on the general knowledge of animal skeletons," he told AFP. "It's a little bit like working with a jigsaw, but without a box and a nice picture on the front." The boxy museum tucked away beside the prime minister's office in the city centre is known affectionately to Dubliners as the "dead zoo". Dating back to 1856, it is part of the sprawl of the National Museum of Ireland and is currently at the start of an extensive 15-million-euro ($18-million) renovation project. "We see our museum... as a stately home of death," said Monaghan, as he surveys the work from a balcony filled with jars of snakes, antelope heads and a stuffed penguin with a severe expression. "But it has a lot of those issues around stately homes and large historic properties." Save the whales https://phys.org/news/2020-09-leviathan-task-whales-dublin-dead.html