The entrance of the new museum building
|Location||Rue Vautier / Vautierstraat 29,|
B-1000 City of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
|Type||Natural history museum|
The Museum of Natural Sciences of Belgium (French : Muséum des sciences naturelles de Belgique, Dutch : Museum voor Natuurwetenschappen van België) is a museum dedicated to natural history, located in Brussels, Belgium. The museum is a part of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Its most important pieces are 30 fossilised Iguanodon skeletons, which were discovered in 1878 in Bernissart, Belgium. The dinosaur hall of the museum is the world's largest museum hall completely dedicated to dinosaurs. Another famous piece is the Ishango bone, which was discovered in 1960 by Jean de Heinzelin de Braucourt in the Belgian Congo. The museum also houses a research department and a public exhibit department.
The Museum of Natural Sciences was founded on 31 March 1846, as a descendant of the Musée de Bruxelles of 1802. It was based on the collection established by Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, dating from the 18th century. Belgian scientist and politician Bernard du Bus de Gisignies became the first director of the museum in 1846, and on this occasion, he donated 2,474 birds from his own collection to the museum.
In 1860, during the construction of new fortifications around Antwerp, several fossils were found, mainly of whales, and they were acquired by the museum. The museum also obtained the skeletons of a bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) and a young blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), which are still on display today. The same year, the skeleton of a mammoth was unearthed near Lier, and due to the prompt action of archaeologist François-Joseph Scohy, it was preserved and brought to the museum, where it has been exhibited since 1869. At that time, the only other skeleton of a mammoth on display was in the museum of Saint Petersburg in Russia.
In 1878, the largest find of Iguanodon fossils to date occurred in a coal mine at Bernissart, in Hainaut, Belgium. At least 38 Iguanodon (Iguanodon bernissartensis) skeletons were uncovered, at a depth of 322 metres (1,056 ft), of which 30 were brought back to the museum and put on display. They were mounted by Louis Dollo and set the standard that was followed for over a century. Found alongside the Iguanodon skeletons were the remains of plants, fish, and other reptiles, including the crocodyliform Bernissartia .
Between 1889 and 1891, the museum moved from its original home at the Palace of Charles of Lorraine into a former convent located on the heights of the park. The building quickly became too narrow and the director of the time, Edward Dupont, entrusted the architect Charles-Emile Janlet the construction of a new southern wing. Work began in 1898 and ended in October 1905. The new rooms were specially designed to accommodate the new collections.
In 1950, several modern buildings were added to house new exhibition and storage rooms, as well as premises for the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, the research centre of which the museum is now part.
Since 2007, the completely renovated and enlarged dinosaur hall (the Janlet wing) of 4,580 m2 (49,300 sq ft) has been the largest dinosaur hall in the world.
In addition to these permanent exhibitions, there are also temporary exhibitions which are always highly interactive.
Bernissart is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006, Bernissart had a total population of 11,458. The total area is 43.42 km², which gives a population density of 264 inhabitants per km². The municipality includes the village of Blaton, formerly an independent municipality.
Iguanodon, named in 1825, is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that existed roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal hypsilophodontids of the mid-Jurassic and the duck-billed dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous. While many species have been classified in the genus Iguanodon, dating from the late Jurassic Period to the early Cretaceous Period of Asia, Europe, and North America, taxonomic revision in the early 21st century has defined Iguanodon to be based on one well-substantiated species: I. bernissartensis, which lived from the late Barremian to the earliest Aptian ages in Belgium, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal and possibly elsewhere in Europe, between about 126 and 122 million years ago. Iguanodon were large, bulky herbivores. Distinctive features include large thumb spikes, which were possibly used for defense against predators, combined with long prehensile fifth fingers able to forage for food.
Melbourne Museum is a natural and cultural history museum located in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.
The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road.
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. It has free admission and is open 364 days a year. In 2016, with 7.1 million visitors, it was the eleventh most visited museum in the world and the most visited natural history museum in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold the national collections and research facilities. The main building has an overall area of 1.5 million square feet (140,000 m2) with 325,000 square feet (30,200 m2) of exhibition and public space and houses over 1,000 employees.
Hypsilophodon is an ornithischian dinosaur genus from the Early Cretaceous period of England. It has traditionally been considered an early member of the group Ornithopoda, but recent research has put this into question.
The Natural History Museum is a natural history museum located in Berlin, Germany. It exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history and in such domain it is one of three major museums in Germany alongside Naturmuseum Senckenberg in Frankfurt and Museum Koenig in Bonn.
Jonkheer Bernard Amé Léonard du Bus de Gisignies was a Dutch nobleman and later on a Belgian politician, ornithologist and paleontologist. He was the second son of Leonard Pierre Joseph du Bus de Gisignies. He married Petronilla Truyts on 19 May 1845, together they had two children; Viscount Bernard Daniel and Viscount Chretien.
The Naturmuseum Senckenberg is a museum of natural history, located in Frankfurt am Main. It is the second-largest of its type in Germany. The Senckenberg Museum is particularly popular with children, who enjoy the extensive collection of dinosaur fossils: Senckenberg boasts the largest exhibition of large dinosaurs in Europe. One notable exhibit is a dinosaur fossil with unique, preserved scaled skin. The museum contains a large and diverse collection of birds with 90,000 bird skins 5,050 egg sets 17,000 skeletons and 3,375 spirit specimens. In 2010, almost 517,000 people visited the museum.
The Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a Russian museum devoted to zoology. It is located in Saint Petersburg, on Universitetskaya Embankment. It is one of the ten largest nature history museums in the world.
The Ishango bone is a bone tool and possible mathematical object, dated to the Upper Paleolithic era. It is a dark brown length of bone, the fibula of a baboon, with a sharp piece of quartz affixed to one end, perhaps for engraving. It is thought by some to be a tally stick, as it has a series of what has been interpreted as tally marks carved in three columns running the length of the tool, though it has also been suggested that the scratches might have been to create a better grip on the handle or for some other non-mathematical reason. Others argue that the marks on the object are non-random and that it was likely a kind of counting tool and used to perform simple mathematical procedures.
Louis Antoine Marie Joseph Dollo was a Belgian palaeontologist, known for his work on dinosaurs. He also posited that evolution is not reversible, known as Dollo's law. Together with the Austrian Othenio Abel, Dollo established the principles of paleobiology.
Mantellisaurus is a genus of iguanodontian dinosaur that lived in the Barremian and early Aptian ages of the Early Cretaceous Period of Europe. Its remains are known from Belgium (Bernissart), England, Spain and Germany. The type and only species is M. atherfieldensis. Formerly known as Iguanodon atherfieldensis, the new genus Mantellisaurus was erected for the species by Gregory Paul in 2007. According to Paul, Mantellisaurus was more lightly built than Iguanodon and more closely related to Ouranosaurus, making Iguanodon in its traditional sense paraphyletic. It is known from many complete and almost complete skeletons. The genus name honours Gideon Mantell, the discoverer of Iguanodon.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is the only natural history museum in the greater Phoenix area and is located in Mesa, Arizona. It exhibits the natural and cultural history of the Southwestern United States.
Tyrannosaurus is one of the most iconic dinosaurs and is known from numerous specimens, some of which have individually acquired notability due to their scientific significance and media coverage.
The Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa is a natural history museum in the city of Pisa in Tuscany, Italy.
The Paleozoological Museum of China is a museum in Beijing, China. The same building also houses the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The museum containing exhibition halls with specimens aimed at the public, while the rest of the building is used for research purposes.
Tianjin Natural History Museum is in Tianjin, China, and is located in No. 206 Machang Avenue, in the Hexi District. It was founded in 1914 as the Hoangho Paiho Museum. The museum has three floors and spans an area of 12,000 square meters. Over 380,000 geological and biological specimens are currently held at the museum.
The London cast of Dippy is a plaster cast replica of the fossilised bones of a Diplodocus carnegii skeleton, the original of which – also known as Dippy – is on display at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The 21.3-metre (70 ft) long cast was displayed between 1905 and 2017 in the Natural History Museum in London, becoming an iconic representation of the museum. It began a national tour of British museums in February 2018.
Dippy is a composite Diplodocus skeleton in Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the holotype of the species Diplodocus carnegii. It is considered the most famous single dinosaur skeleton in the world, due to the numerous plaster casts donated by Andrew Carnegie to several major museums around the world at the beginning of the 20th century.
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