A scent of loveHappy Valentine's Day!
In honour of this day, we present a special couple:
Siberian musk deer are strict loners, but we have a couple in our exhibition hall! They are nocturnal cloven-hoofed animals that live in the thick mountain woods of Central and Eastern Asia at altitudes of 2,500 to 3,500 meters. They are good climbers and jumpers and can even climb inclined tree trunks. Their typical hopping movement is due to their long back legs.
The male possesses the musk sac, an abdominal glandular pouch between the navel and the penis. The brownish, strong-smelling contents are used to make soaps and perfume and have an aphrodisiac effect.
On display in hall 37.
(Photo: NHM Vienna, Lois Lammerhuber)
flutter in!This butterfly (Graphium agamemnon) had been collected by the Austrian diplomat, painter and adventurer Eugen Freiherr von Ransonnet-Villez (1838-1926) during the Austrian-Hungarian expedition to Eastern Asia in Singapur.
During his journeys and expeditions he collected a huge amount of insects for the NHM Vienna like this butterfly and completely new species.
colourful iron ageHundreds of prehistoric fabrics show how the quality of the material has improved. Also the methods of making those materials has evolved.
The picture shows the incredibly shining colours and the different patterns that our ancestors have already used!
70 000 guldenAt 594 grams, this precious opal is not only the largest from a European deposit, but also the most valuable gemstone in the Vienna collection.
This enormous precious opal was allegedly found by a flint collector in a river bed near Dubnik (Cˇervenica) in Slovakia in the 17th century. It ended up in the imperial treasury in Vienna before 1672. From there it was one of the first collection exhibits to be incorporated in the natural history cabinet of Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine.
In the inventory it was listed as the worlds largest and most valuable opal. Its value was estimated to be 70,000 gulden.
On display in Hall IV.
Photo: NHM Wien, Lois Lammerhuber
bamboo bearAlthough giant pandas are doubtlessly one of the best known animal species, there are at most only 3,000 of them in the world today. They are rarely shown in museum collections.
At not even 6,000 square kilometers, the panda's natural habitat is tiny. Humans have seldom been successful at raising panda offspring. Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is one major exception. With highly specialized eating habits, the panda bear is dependent on mountainous regions thickly vegetated with bamboo.
A female panda bear generally gives birth to just one tiny cub every three years. At its birth, the helpless newborn cubs weigh no more than 130 grams: forty per cent of all panda cubs do not survive the first year.
The specimen at NHM Vienna is on display in hall 38.
Photo: NHM Vienna, Lois Lammerhuber
The "Elenchus Vegetabilium et Animalium", written by Wilhelm Heinrich Kramer in 1756, is a turning point for the descriptive botany: from the socratic principle of scientific discourse to the binary nomenclature of Linné.
Nikolaus von Jacquin, professor of botany at the University of Vienna that time, added the binomen (scientifc name), handwritten, to the paragraphs. That was the very first time, somebody used the way of naming plants practised in Austria.
The book is kept in the library of the botanical department of the NHM Vienna.
Photo: NHM Vienna, Heimo Rainer