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Museums are battling it out to find out who has the best duck

The British Museum, Royal Academy and Natural History Museum are among those getting their ducks out.

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(bong hyunjung/Getty)

(bong hyunjung/Getty)

(bong hyunjung/Getty)

It’s still the first week in January, but already museum Twitter is on the very top of its game – competing to find who has the best duck-based exhibits.

That’s thanks to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), which threw out the challenge to no more distinguished an institution than the British Museum.

It started when the MERL, which found online fame last year for posting a picture of an enormous ram, presented an image of a duckling from its archives.

Not content with bringing in the likes for such a fine specimen of bird, the museum then decided to throw down the gauntlet.

Such a fearsome challenge no doubt sent fear ringing round the august corridors of the British Museum, and while staff scrambled to find something suitable, other institutions got on board.

The Royal Academy went above and beyond by creating a gif especially for the occasion – albeit one of a goose.

And eventually the British Museum also came good, producing a very fine specimen indeed – an ancient Egyptian cosmetics case, no less.

Ultimately though, nobody beats the MERL at its own game, and this when you can produces pictures like this one, you can see why.

It’s not the first time the MERL has thrown out a challenge like this to an illustrious museum.

Back in November the museum asked the Louvre in Paris if it had any pictures of roosters in trousers.

PA Media