2012-07-28

Roaring Zebra, Braying Lion

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Last century I occasionally worked with Philips, entailing a fair few trips to Hamburg. We'd stay at the Reichshof Hotel.

This hotel was - I imagine still is - one of those hotels with atmosphere; an always busy lobby where you'd half expect to bump into Woollcott or Hemingway or Parker. I meant Dorothy there, but Lady P's chauffeur wouldn't be out of place. If you allow the dead, it seems churlish to forbid the marionette. You also got a good breakfast there. Not being far from the Hauptbahnhof Sud made it handy for the metro to Hagenbecks Tierpark. Whence a short walk past said zoo to the research labs in Vogt-Köln-Straße would finish the trip.

So what? I just stumbled across a feature article about that very zoo whilst leafing through The Graphic of 1911. That's the only reason for this Proustian Madelainity. They were holding some kind of a dinosaur exhibition. Pictures and text from the period follow:

Stegosaurus : A Reptile the Size of an Elephant - in Hagenbeck's Park

This monster, from the Jurassic strata of Colorado and Wyoming, is notable for the double row of huge bony plates running along its back. The top of the highest plate was eleven feet from the ground. It flourished in the same region and period as the Diplodocus.

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A Pre-Historic Zoo : Models of Extinct Reptiles in Hagenbeck's Park at Hamburg

In the background on the left is the Diplodocus, and to the right of it are two specimens of the three-horned Dinosaur Triceratops. In front on the left is the Naosaurus, a carnivorous lizard from the Permian of Texas, and on the right is an Ichthyosaur, the shark of the Mesozoic period.

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