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Shanghai Museum of Natural Sciences

Updated: 2008-01-18 18:00:39

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The Shanghai Museum of Natural Sciences is one of the largest museums of natural sciences in China. Located at downtown Shanghai, the museum features some British traditional style and covers an area of 12,880 square meters.

Prepared in November 1956, the Shanghai Museum of Natural Sciences opened the Division Museum of Animals to the public in 1960, and the Division Museum of Plants in 1984. The building for exhibition of samples covers a floor space of 3,053 square meters. The exhibition halls of the museum are situated in the Shanghai Botanic Garden and cover a total space of 4,726 square meters.

The museum has a collection of 240,000 samples, including over 62,000 pieces of animal specimens, 135,000 plant specimens, 700 specimens of the Stone Age, and 1,700 specimens of minerals, which are of high value to research on natural evolvement.

The largest exhibit is a dinosaur skeleton of over four storeys high. There are also some rare species, which cannot be found elsewhere outside China, on display, such as a Yellow River mammoth, a giant salamander, a giant panda, and an alligator from the Yangtze River. Besides, the museum boasts more than 60,000 volumes of documents and books on scientific research.

The museum features four exhibition halls: the Hall of the History of the Ancient Animals, the Hall of History of Ancient Anthropology, the Hall of Animals and the Hall of Plants.

The Hall of the History Ancient Animals houses fossil remains from the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras, forming a wordless chronicle of prehistoric life and displaying the evolvement of animals from aquicolous animals to terraneous animals, and from simple formation to complex one. Among the exhibits is a restored model of a Mamenxi dinosaur with the length of 22 meters, which is 140 million years old.

In the Hall of Ancient Anthropology is a huge collection of specimens, restored models and unearthed relics, which details the genesis and evolvement of human beings.

The Hall of Animals displays invertebrates, fishes, amphibious animals, reptiles, birds and mammals, many of which are on the national list of first-class and second-class protected animals. The Hall for Plants displays primitive alga, epiphyte, lichen and so on.

The famous Chinese mummies are exhibited in the Hall of the Mummies, such as a female mummy unearthed in Loulan of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In addition to permanent exhibitions, the museum often organizes other displays, such as Ancient Mummies of China, Rare Animals, Biologic Engineering, Chinese Special Animal - Elk and so on.

The museum has compiled a good many of books on animals, plants, human and astronomy such asResearch and StudyandNature and Human.

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