The Palaeontology MuseumRussian: Paleontologicheskiy muzey or Палеонтологический музей located in southwest Moscow displays real skeletons and life-size sculptures of dinosaur fossils and mammoths providing ample scope for the imagination of children of all ages, who will learn a lot of exciting facts about our planet’s past. With an area of some 5,000 square metres, the Museum boasts a collection of over 5,000 items.
This is a great place to get an overview at the evolution of the organic world, as well as to spend hours studying it in great depth. The Museum is away from the beaten tourist paths, but it is just 15 to 20 minutes’ walk from the nearest metro station.
Visitors to the Museum are offered an audioguide offering short yet informative descriptions of nearly 50 items on display. To use it, you can download a free app called izi.Travel, before visiting the Museum. Sculptures of some prehistoric animals stand in the Museum’s inner courtyard.
HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
The collection began to take shape during the reign of Peter the Greatruled from 1682 until 1725 – it all began with the foundation of KunstkameraRussian: Кунсткамера in 1716, which hosted newly discovered bones of ice age mammals. Tremendous excavation work carried out in the 20th century kept the collection growing, evolving into a collection at the Academy of SciencesRussian: Akademiya nauk or Академия наук and, later, the Geological MuseumRussian: Geologicheskiy muzey or Геологический музей – this resulted in the need for a separate Paleontology Museum. The 1960s saw the construction of the modern Museum building as a re-design of its exhibition areas.
The first hall describes how paleontology developed as a science. The almost 500-square-metre ceramic panel The Tree of LifeRussian: Drevo zhizni or Древо жизни is the most significant example of monumental art in the Museum. It covers the inner surface of an 8-metre-tall tower and reveals itself to visitors as they walk up the marble stairs. This amazing graphic presentation of the stages of evolution features dozens of nearly life-size animal images and all major eras in the development of the organic world ranging from life in the oceans to the appearance of man.
The third hall features geological and paleontological finds made on the territories of Moscow and the Moscow, Kaluga, Yaroslavl and Vladimircities not far from Moscow Oblasts. These mostly include algae, invertebrates and fish.
Items on display in the fourth hall date back to the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic Eras and introduce visitors to the earliest vertebrate animals.
The fifth hall presents the plant and animal kingdoms from the second half of the Mesozoic Era, the age of the giant dinosaurs. The two-level hall allows for the installation of the skeletons of large animals, including a 26-metre long Diplodocus and a Tarbosaurus, the Tyrannosaurus’ nearest ancestor.
The sixth hall traces the history of the main Cenozoic Era mammal orders. Skeletons of fossil rhinos, Hippomorpha (horselike) animals and ancient carnivorous mammals are all on display here.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com