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Muséum de Toulouse

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Multiple view of bone Azilian harpoon head, from about 10,000 years ago

The Muséum de Toulouse, Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de la ville de Toulouse (abbreviation: MHNT) is a museum of natural history in Toulouse, France. It is located in the Busca-Montplaisir, and houses a collection of more than 2.5 million items and has some 3 000 square metres of exhibition space.[1] Its Index Herbariorum code is TLM.[2]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The museum was founded in 1796 by the naturalist Philippe-Isidore Picot de Lapeyrouse, with his collections being able to be housed (after the revolution) in the former Carmelite monastery in Toulouse.[3] In 1808, the emperor Napoleon formally gifted all the Carmelite buildings and land to the city of Toulouse, [3] and in 1865 the museum was opened to the public in its present location and under the directorship of Édouard Filhol.[3] Toulouse museum was the first museum in the world to open a gallery of prehistory thanks to the collaboration of Émile Cartailhac, Jean-Baptiste Noulet, and Eugène Trutat.[4]

In 1887 (on the occasion of a world exposition in Toulouse) the botanical gardens of the university of Toulouse became part of the museum.[3] In 2008, the museum reopened in its present form (as of May 2018) with the renovations and extensions of the museum, designed by the architectural firm of Jean-Paul Viguier,[3][5] having been completed.

Permanent exhibitionsEdit

The permanent exhibition has five linked themes:

  • Sequence 1: Feeling the Earth's power.

Nature of the solar system and its formation. Nature of the Earth – plate tectonics, seismic and volcanic activity and erosion, petrology and mineralogy.

  • Sequence 2: Doing away with our notions of hierarchy

The nature of life – biodiversity, classification, and organization.

  • Sequence 3: Getting to grips with the huge scale.

Earth history from 3.8 billion years ago. Introduces time, palaeontology and the evolution of life

  • Sequence 4: Admitting the obvious

The main functions of living beings—feeding, respiration, locomotion, reproduction, protection and communication.

  • Sequence 5: Inventing the future.

The impact of human activity—demographic pressure on ecosystems and natural resources

CollectionsEdit

This section presents examples to illustrate the content of each different collection of the Museum de Toulouse.

PrehistoryEdit

The prehistoric collection includes mostly artefacts excavated in France. They also contain comparative material from other parts of Europe and other continents. Notable collectors include Édouard Harlé (1850–1922), Antoine Meillet (1866– 1936), Alexis Damour (1808–1902), Félix Regnault (1847–1908), Louis Péringuey (1855–1924), Émile Cartailhac (1845–1921), Daniel Bugnicourt, Edward John Dunn (1844–1937), Henri Breuil (1877–1961), and Louis Lartet (1840–1899), as well as the curators Jean-Baptiste Noulet (1802–1890), Eugène Trutat (1840 -1910), and Édouard Filhol (1814–1883).

BotanyEdit

EntomologyEdit

ColeopteraEdit

LepidopteraEdit

OrthopteraEdit

MineralogyEdit

OrnithologyEdit

  • The bird collection of MHNT contains more than 30,000 specimens, of which 20,000 are eggs. About 8,500 bird mounts and 1,500 scientific bird skins are included. Other bird items are around 2,000 skeletons and skulls and 5,300 eggs. The collection focuses on Europe (especially France), but the collection also has exotic species . Most are documented on card or computer systems.
  • The bird mount collection of Victor Besaucèle, with 5,000 specimens, is one of the most important historic collections in Europe.
  • Other collectors represented are R. Bourret, G. Cossaune, M. Gourdon, Hammonville, A. Lacroix, and Reboussin.

OsteologyEdit

PaleontologyEdit

The specimens of the collection of paleontology amount to tens of thousands. They date from the Paleoarchean to the Eocene.

InvertebratesEdit

VertebratesEdit

Henri Gaussen Botanical GardenEdit

 
Jardin Henri Gaussen in winter

Henri Gaussen was a Toulouse-based phytogeographer and botanist. The botanic garden which honours his name is attached to the museum and is part of the Earth and Life Science Research and Training Paul Sabatier University. A second botanical area, The Museum Gardens, extends over 3 hectares. It is notable for "potagers du monde" (vegetable gardens of the world) and a "shade house" which recreates the conditions required by shade plants.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit