Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of different species of animals, including humans.
From ancient times, anatomists have dissected animals to gain a better understanding of the body. Comparing the similarities and differences between the internal anatomy of humans and other animals has proved a fertile area of study in helping us understand the anatomy and interconnectedness of all living things.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, comparative anatomy was seen as a central part of medical education and training. When Surgeons' Hall opened in 1832, an entire room withing the museum was devoted to a large collection of zoological skeletons and specimens, donated by well-known Scottish Comparative Anatomist John Barclay.
This new exhibition explores the history of this fascinating subject and how integral it was to the beginnings of Surgeons' Hall Museums.