Holding pride of place among the osteological collection at the Hunterian Museum is the skeleton
of Caroline Crachami, also known as The Sicilian Fairy. Crachami was a primordial (also called “bird-headed”) dwarf,
and when she died in 1824 she was under 20-inches in height. At the time, the accepted theory was that her condition
was caused by maternal impression, her mother having been the victim of a dramatic episode involving an angry monkey under her skirts.
For many decades, Crachami's skeleton was displayed beside that of the giant Charles Byrne. However, when I visited the museum in
2008 the skeleton was part of a display about dentistry. Apparently, a recent study of Crachimi's teeth had determined her age to be about three years
at the time of her death, rather than the nine to twenty-five years previously claimed. Personally, I thought the non-fused state of her sternum was a pretty good