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Orlov Paleontology Museum in Moscow
January 31, 2018 19:50


Yu.A. Orlov Paleontology Museum is considered to be one of the largest natural historical museums in the world. The history of the museum, in particular, goes back to the Kunstkammer that was founded by Peter I in 1716 and displayed outlandish finds of skeleton fragments of unknown prehistoric animals.

Now the museum’s exposition area covers about 5 thousand square meters. The rich and varied design of its interiors contributes to a sense of tangible contact with the secrets of past eras. Visitors are welcomed with a huge ceramic panel "The Tree of Life" (by A. Belashov) that is about 500 square meters large. Made of mirror plates, it creates an illusion of all-consuming abyss. Ceramic compositions "Sea Lilies" and "The Birth of the Sea" reflect the artist's fantasies about the ancient seas in all their glory.

Six exhibition halls of the museum consistently trace the history of life on Earth from the most ancient geological epochs and acquaint viewers with various groups of extinct organisms. The exhibits presented in the museum were collected by many generations of paleontologists in Russia and abroad. Each of them has its own remarkable story.

In the Opening Hall visitors are faced with a mammoth skeleton - a kind of symbol of Russian paleontology. It was found in 1842 by the Russian industrialist A.I. Trofimov in the northeast of the Gydan Peninsula in Siberia, delivered to Moscow and donated to the Moscow Society of Naturalists.

The Precambrian and Late Paleozoic Hall introduces the most ancient organisms of the Precambrian, Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian periods. Here is a unique slab with prints and traces of crawling of the oldest multicellular soft-bodied organisms, whose age is more than 550 million years.

Near Moscow Hall tells about the geological history of the Moscow Region. Here are animals that lived on the territory of the Moscow region in various geological epochs.

A true pearl of the Late Paleozoic Hall is the North-Dvina Gallery of Permian reptiles, collected by Professor V.P. Amaletsky in the years 1898-1914. Here you can see the bizarre skeletons of giant herbivorous dinosaurs – Estemmenosuchus - found in the Ocher area of the Perm Region in 1953-1960. From the latest finds there is a slab with traces of Permian reptiles - Pareiasaurus.

In the exposition of the Mesozoic Hall, skeletons and skulls of predatory and herbivorous dinosaurs, found on the territory of Mongolia during the long-term work of the Soviet-Mongolian expedition, are of primary interest. Here towers the largest exhibit of the museum - the cast of the diplodocus skeleton from the Jurassic deposits of the USA. It was presented to Tsar Nicholas II for the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs' house in 1913. Interesting are the skeletons of two non-flying birds: moa from New Zealand and the North American diatrim.

All the exhibits displayed in the last hall of the museum show the diversity of ancient mammals. The large skeleton of a giant rhinoceros - the indricotherium from the Oligocene of Kazakhstan - stands out among them. In addition to that, the exposition has Gomphotherium mastodon from the Miocene of Kazakhstan, cave bears from the Pleistocene of the Odessa Region, and Irish elk with 1.5-meter horns from the Pleistocene of the Ryazan Region.

The exhibition ends with a story about prehistoric people, as well as a skeleton cast of "Lucy", the ancient Australopithecus from Africa and a stone with drawings of ancient people.

It takes a lot of time to have a close look at all the museum's exhibits; so many visitors come here more than once.

The museum is located at the address: 123, Profsoyuznaya Street, next to Teply Stan metro station, Moscow

 

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Sources: http://museum.ru 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Orlov Paleontology Museum Moscow Museums Exhibitions in Moscow   

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