What Is the Oldest Thing in the Natural History Museum London?

The Natural History Museum in London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, attracting millions of visitors every year. This museum is home to an incredible collection of specimens and artifacts, including some of the oldest objects on display anywhere in the world.

One of the most frequently asked questions by visitors to the Natural History Museum is: what is the oldest thing in the museum? While there are many contenders for this title, one object stands out as perhaps the most ancient and fascinating item in the entire collection.

This object is known as the “Mantellodon Trowbridgensis,” and it is a fossilized tooth from an extinct species of reptile. The tooth dates back around 167 million years, which makes it one of the oldest items on display at the museum.

The Mantellodon Trowbridgensis was first discovered in 1907 by a man named Arthur Smith Woodward, who was working as a paleontologist at the British Museum at that time. The tooth was found in a quarry near Bath, England, and it immediately caught Woodward’s attention due to its unusual shape and size.

The Mantellodon Trowbridgensis belongs to a group of reptiles known as rhynchosaurs, which were small herbivorous animals that lived during the Triassic period. These creatures are not particularly well-known or widely studied by scientists today, but they were an important part of Earth’s early history.

Despite its age and rarity, seeing this ancient tooth up close is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Visitors to the Natural History Museum can view this incredible specimen for themselves in the Earth Hall gallery, where it sits alongside other impressive objects from our planet’s distant past.

In addition to its age and scientific importance, what makes the Mantellodon Trowbridgensis so fascinating is its connection to our own human history. This tooth was around long before humans ever walked on Earth, but it is a tangible reminder of the incredible depth and history of our planet.

So, if you’re ever visiting the Natural History Museum in London, be sure to check out the Mantellodon Trowbridgensis and see for yourself one of the oldest and most fascinating objects in the entire museum. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!