The Gallery of Evolution

Paris’ Galleries of Evolution and Mineralogy

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As you may know, I do not live in France. So every time I am on holiday, I take advantage of being in Paris surroundings to visit the museums the French capital offers us. As a science and nature lover, I went to the Gallery of Evolution and the Gallery of Mineralogy in the Jardin des Plantes a few weeks ago, after visiting the Louvre museum.

The Gallery of Evolution is a gallery part of the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN). In facts, each department of the MNHN is specialized in one of the domains of natural history. And, the gallery I will talk about today focuses on the species’ evolution and the diversity of the living world.

The exhibition’s concept is engaging: mainly focused on biology, zoology, and botany, the collection gravitates around a parade of different mammals representing the animal kingdom at the image of the Noah Arch.

The Gallery of Evolution will delight the entire family, from the youngest to the eldest. Everybody will satisfy their curiosity and will remember something different from the exhibit.

With fossils, replicates of animals, and bocals filled with formalin and displayed on four floors, you will witness many species from the fauna and flora kingdoms. Many may be unknown to you and seem bizarre, even weird.

Thanks to well-redacted and designed explanatory panels, you will learn a lot of exciting facts about the world we live in, opening, on the same occasion, our minds to the wealth and fragility of the ecosystems we are part of.

This museum is a must-see if you spend a few days in the French capital. I may compare the Gallery of Evolution to the Louvre but for the natural history.

Aside from the Gallery of Evolution, I visited the building next to it: the Gallery of Geology and Mineralogy. They have a fantastic collection of crystals and gems.

Near the Evolution Gallery, in another wing of the Jardin des Plantes buildings, there is another gallery specializing in Earth sciences: The Geology and Mineralogy Gallery.

Now back to the mineralogy gallery. As its name suggests, this gallery proposes to present minerals, crystals, and other precious or semi-precious stones.

Many of these minerals have been found during drilling by companies specializing in hydrocarbons, such as the French gas company Total. These companies have donated their discovery which, let’s face it, is truly magnificent.

Resulting from complex physicochemical reactions involving immeasurable pressures and temperatures over very long periods where the lifespan of a man represents nothing, these minerals impress with their shape, organization, and color.

During your visit, next to these stones, there are well-thought-out explanatory texts that give indications and anecdotes on the use of these minerals in the arts, jewelers, and others.

The visit takes little time, at most fifty minutes. And, it is an exhibition not to be missed. I strongly recommend it to you.

Also, there are even more things to visit in the Jardin des Plantes. As an idea, you can visit to the menagerie, which is a zoological park. Also, not far from it, the paleontology gallery where you will observe real dinosaur bones assembled to form the skeleton of the saurians they composed, and many more other permanent and temporary exhibitions that will delight young and old alike of science and discovery. For more details on the organization of the Jardin des Plantes, you can click on this link which will take you to the site map.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit them all, but I promise I’ll go back and write an article about it!