Museum of Zoology

Museum of Zoology

Located in the Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology at the University of Göttingen, the Zoological Museum houses more than 100,000 prepared animals in jars, boxes and cabinets. Many of them are valuable treasures, evidence of newly discovered species (holotypes), rare or, in the meantime, extinct species that were gathered together in the 18th, 19th and 20th century from many parts of the world and are proof of the potential of evolution in the animal kingdom.

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, famous as a naturalist and founder of anthropology, was the first curator at the Königliches Akademische Museum established in 1773. He also supervised the zoological collection that moved to the newly built Museum of Natural History in 1878 in the Berliner Straße. Due to good relations with the great explorers of their time, the collections continually grew along with their importance, and the Museum of Zoology received world recognition.

From the very beginning, the collections served research and teaching purposes. It was only in the middle of the last century that the gates were opened to anyone interested in viewing the diversity of the birds, insects or reptiles. Today, a visit to the Museum of Zoology is an established component for teaching the diversity of species and evolution. Sundays are reserved for families and individual visitors who are looking for the opportunity to gather information on a specific focus of the exhibitions.

In order to live up to these requirements, exhibition rooms have originated in which individual objects are accompanied by explanatory texts and pictures. A highlight is the presentation of a sperm whale skeleton, which occupies almost one-fourth of the exhibition space with its 17 metres. Many other important exhibits are stored in the magazines of the Museum of Zoology for research purposes until they are brought into the light of public attention for special exhibitions. more...