Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History at the University of Oslo is Norway’s most comprehensive natural history collection. For almost 200 years, preserved plant specimens, animal specimens, rocks, minerals and fossils have been collected, studied and preserved here.
In Part I of Museum of Natural History I will talk about the Zoological Museum. The Museum have four main themes in it’s exhibitions.
1. The Norwegian Hall.
“They take us through habitats and animal communities at increasing heights above sea level. The first diorama shows a typical community of sea-living creatures along the Norwegian coast. We move on to life along the beaches, via a spectacular diorama of cliff-nesting sea birds, to meet the animals found in cities and cultivated landscapes. Continuing upwards through evergreen forest to the birch belt, our journey ends in the high mountains where birds like ptarmigans and snow buntings manage to survive. In an extension of the Norwegian Hall lies the Svalbard Room, showing important arctic animal species.”
2. The zoogeographic hall
“The dioramas in this hall are organized according to the zoological areas – or zoogeographic regions – of the Earth. Here you find animal species typical for each region – Europe and Northern Asia, Asia south of the Himalayas, North and South America, Africa south of the Sahara, Australia, and the Antarctic. The hall presents a colourful journey among countless exotic animals, exciting shapes and adaptations.”
3. The systematic hall
“Almost all the vertebrates native to Norway are presented here – fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. When it comes to the invertebrates, the number of species is so great that it is hardly possible to show a complete collection. However, you will find a large and representative selection of all the groups of invertebrates found in Norway. All the animals in this hall are exhibited in systematic order, placing each animal where it belongs in the great biological system of genera, families, orders, classes and phyla.”
4. The hall of temporary exhibitions
“In the course of a year, several exciting exhibitions are mounted in this hall. These exhibitions cover topics from all the natural sciences, emphasizing geology, botany and zoology. The 2006 exhibition “Against nature?” (pictured), concerning homosexuality in animals, drew international attention. “Can we forgive Darwin?”, including the famous fossil Ida, opened in June 2009.” The exhibition showing now is Sexus, where Darwin’s Sexual Selection and the battle of the sexes are some of the topics.
Here are some photos from the Zoological Museum: