- The State Darwin Museum
The State Darwin Museum was founded in 1907 by Alexander Kots (1880-1964), a professor at the Moscow Higher Women's College. It became the first world's museum of evolution. The pride of the museum is the world's biggest collection of aberrant mammals and birds, which has a unique scientific value. It includes 800 mounts with the rarest aberrations, and 34 pure albinos.
One of the largest collections of the museum is the bird collection. It consists of many exotic species, such as hummingbirds and birds of paradise. There are specimens of the extinct Dodo, the Great Auk, the Passenger Pigeon, and the Majestic Huia in the Museum's collection. These specimens can be seen in only a few museums in the world.
The distinct feature of the State Darwin Museum is extensive use of wildlife art, in addition to regular specimens, in the exhibition. The founder of the museum A. Kots believed that wildlife art facilitates the public interest in biodiversity and its conservation. Today the Darwin Museum has the richest collection of wildlife art in Russia.
The first permanent exhibition in the most recent building opened for visitors in September 1995. The complete permanent exhibition opened in 1997, at the 90th anniversary of the Darwin Museum.
Currently the exhibition area is 5,000 square meters, and more than 5000 specimens are displayed on three floors of the building. The museum's exhibition illustrates the origin, development and diversity of life on the Earth; the evolution of behaviour of animals, and their distribution on the planet; the origin of Man and history of his relationship with Nature.
Finally, visitors have an opportunity to be acquainted with the unique collections, which have never been displayed on such a large scale. The museum's exhibition, scientific and education activities continue to be developed.