The "Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung" (Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity) is a research museum within the Leibniz Association. It is one of the most significant research institutions worldwide in biological and geo-scientific evolution research and biodiversity.
The Collections of the Museum are directly linked to research. They comprise more than 30 million items relating to zoology, palaeontology, geology and mineralogy, which are highly significant for science as well as for the history of science. This is due not only to the fact that the collections have been compiled continuously for over 200 years, but also to some spectacular pieces such as:
- the Berlin specimen of the primeval bird Archaeopteryx lithographica
- the dinosaurs from the Tendaguru excavation site (including Brachiosaurus brancai)
- the original piece of uranium on which its first scientific description was based
- the Bloch Collection from the 18th century, probably the oldest preserved fish collection in the world
The large exhibitions in the Museum, in particular the new Permanent Exhibitions, give the public an insight into current research. The original research items are on display. Visitors are invited to go on a research trip through the exhibitions. First they can only see the original items. Only when they decide to get closer to these items, they have access to various resources such as posters and animations. An audio guide is also provided.
This seems to be a popular approach, as our visitor figures of 500,000 per year suggest. The exhibitions are complemented by extensive educational programmes for all ages.