About Exhibitions

    About museum exhibitions

    The Zoological Museum is a division of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, and it has been used in the educational process from the first days of its existence. Until 1955, the Faculty of Biology, as well as various laboratories and departments that have preceded it, were housed in the same building with the collections, and the students could study them in their everyday practice. This was where the practicums originated, and they still constitute the basis of special courses at the departments of the Faculty of Biology. However, the Museum worked not only for the students and university staff. From the first years of its existence, although intermittently, it was open to the public. The number of visitors has been constantly growing, and today about 100,000 people come to the Museum a year. It is nice to note that most of them are children.

    The Lower Hall

    Representatives of all phyla of the animal kingdom, except birds and mammals, are shown here. The exhibits are so numerous that if you carefully study all of them, you can spend several days in the hall. Therefore, we arrange for you a short review tour here, which can be continued while visiting our museum. The exposition consists of several parts devoted to major groups of living beings. Along the left wall of the Hall there are showcases with the invertebrates, culminating in a special part of the exhibition, named “The Communities of Hydrothermal Vents”. The part of the Hall farthest from the entrance is reserved for displaying insects. In the central and right rows of the showcases, as you return to the exit, you can first observe the lower chordate animals, then the fish, amphibians, and finally the reptiles.



    The Upper Hall

    This Hall contains an exposition telling about the diversity of birds and mammals. Almost all the objects are stuffed animals, skillfully executed by the best Russian taxidermists at the end of the XIX and throughout the XX century. Most of the exhibits are arranged in accordance with the Natural System. A few stuffed animals are mounted as part of biological groups, located mainly along the central line of the hall. The exposition of birds includes several thematic showcases: “Bird Bazaar”, “Hunting With The Birds of Prey”, “The Birds of the Moscow Region”. Sections devoted to representatives of birds and mammals are preceded by showcases with general characteristics of these groups.



    The Comparative Anatomy Hall

    The Hall of Comparative Anatomy, or, as it is familiarly called, “The Bone Hall”, has been designed for the display of anatomical collections of the Museum of Comparative Anatomy of Moscow University, which was integrated with the Zoological Museum in 1931. The main content of its exhibition is preserved up to this day, and you can see here many excellent exhibits prepared more than 100 years ago.

    The exhibition illustrates the main provisions of the classical evolutionary morphology, exposes examples of the evolution of particular organs and body parts of vertebrates and the principles of the evolutionary development of animals as a whole (the relation between ontogenesis and phylogenesis, the evolution of organs and functions, the evolutionary progress). Here you can get acquainted with the anatomy of various vertebrates, their individual development (ontogenesis), and a variety of adaptations of the musculoskeletal system to various types of movements.

    The mounted animal skeletons dominate in this exhibition, though there are also alcohol-preserved preparations showing the structure of internal organs, as well as diagrams, drawings, and tables. There are 10 large panels by V.A. Vatagin depicting original reconstructions of the appearance of some key fossil vertebrates.