The Learned Lemur – Denver, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

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The Learned Lemur

A small store filled with animal skulls and other curiosities. 


Jonathan Alberico has been collecting oddities and unusual antiques since his childhood. The first piece he collected was an anatomical human heart model. His parents owned an antique shop and he was drawn to weird items that no one else wanted.

Alberico started working with dermestid beetles (flesh-eating beetles) while he was working on cleaning a piece used for art project in college. The interest developed from there and he now has colonies of beetles that clean most of the vast majority of animal skulls and bones that can be found in the shop. The most unusual specimen in Jonathan’s collection is a polycephalic skull, also known as a “two-headed” calf skull. 

For the past 15 years, Alberico has been consulting and curating, and in 2016 he opened his storefront in Denver. They recently moved to Colfax Ave, which is notoriously known as “the longest, wickedest street in America.”

The Learned Lemur’s mission is to do their best to make oddities accessible to everyone who would like to collect by keeping their prices fair.  Cleaning and processing animal skulls themselves allows them to ensure their products meet a high ethical and quality standard. They also host a monthly artist market and a circus sideshow called the Conspiracy Circus

Know Before You Go

Open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Metered street parking. 

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September 13, 2021

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