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It took long scientific preparation, research and data collection for Greek and foreign scientists, artists and special museologists to present part of their activity to the public, thus fulfilling the mission of the museum as a scientific and educational centre. The first exhibition halls of the museum, those of plants biology, were designed for GNHM by the British Museum of Natural History. However, the Museum soon proceeded to its own architectural and museological design of its zoology and geology areas, with its artistic manager Petros Zabelis being in charge of the operations. The museological conception, the aesthetics of the spaces, the multitude and quality of exhibits were back then as they are now perfect in terms of communication.
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The Museum’s botanical exhibition introduces visitors to the kingdom of plants. The botanical exhibits begin with an introduction to biology. A large three-dimensional representation of the plant cell is the visitors’ first contact with the basic unit of every living organism.
Among the mammals’ collection of the Museum there are monotremes and marsupials of Australia such as the duck-billed platypus and the spiny ant-eater, the kangaroo and the koala.
Visitors to the entomological exhibition of the Museum can look at butterflies and moths from Greece and other countries.
In the Museum’s hall is exhibited an extensive collection of shells from the Greek seas, the result of research activity of the marine biology department, as well as a selection of shells from all over the world.
In a large 22 meter display showing mountains, forests, plains, wetlands and sea coasts, 180 species of birds nesting in Greece are presented in their natural biotopes.
The Museum’s reptile collections include Greek turtles. Three sea turtles are exhibited, of which being the Leatherback Turtle, which has also been reported in the Mediterranean Sea even though it is a cosmopolitan species.
The Museum’s rock collection consists primarily of minerals from Greece. It begins with the cycle of rock, a schematic presentation of their creation and their transformation.
Fossils are relics of plant or animal organisms which have remained in the Earth’s interior for millions of years and with time have been turned to stone.