How was built up the zoology collection?
The old collection of zoology was made up in the 19th century.
During the first half of the 20th century, when the museum was under University management, the collection was completed mainly with collections of regional species (insects, domesticated breeds of pigeons and hens).
Since then, the enhancement goes on, mainly thanks to collaborations with zoological parks (endangered species) and private donations.
The zoology collection today
The zoology department manages several groups: birds, mammals, insects, shellfish are the most represented animals.
The birds constitute a particularly abundant collection, made up of two collections of regional species from the 19th century (Degland and Vilmarest), a huge variety of domesticated breeds of pigeons and roosters, and a splendid collection of hummingbirds, as well as numerous specimens coming from all around the world.
The mammals conceal unusual animals coming from the old collection (platypus, proboscis monkey), as well as works of taxidermy – as spectacular as recent –, such as bears, felines and cervids.
As for the insects, a part of the collection is made up of scientific collections – mostly regional species –, whereas the rest of the collection is composed of spectacular species – exotic ones most of the time.
Like the insects, the shellfish are represented by splendid tropical specimens but also by local species which allow the following of the evolution of both the biodiversity and the environmental conditions of the region over the last century.
The Museum of natural history also possesses about twenty specimens of extinct species, which highlights the problem of biodiversity’s erosion. For example, this magnificent pair of huia, presented by Judith Pargamin, head of the natural history museum.