Visitors to the various exhibition rooms at the Center of Natural History (CeNak) enjoy a fascinating view of our planet’s species diversity, habitats and natural environments, and Earth’s geology and mineral diversity. The newly designed lobby of the Zoological Museum is dedicated to the Anthropocene, or “human era”, in which humankind has shaped Earth like no organism has before and also threatens the planet’s diversity. Alongside enormous whale skeletons, a polar bear, and a one-of-a-kind twohorned narwhal skull, the exhibition displays large animals from the African savannah, feline predators, giant tortoises, primates, and indigenous fauna. The Geological-Palaeontological Museum showcases Earth’s history, while the Mineralogical Museum offers a view of Earth’s inanimate side: precious stones, rocks, and minerals. Despite the wealth of objects— roughly the Zoological Museum alone displays specimens of roughly 1,300 animals—only a fraction of CeNak’s treasures can be shown to the public. Most of the 10 million natural history objects are kept in storage, where they serve as a data archive of current research on evolution and changing biodiversity.
The Zoological Museum presents specimens of different animals over some 2,000 sq m of floor space. As well as ungulates, insects, and birds from around the globe, visitors can also view Antje, the walrus formerly resident in Hagenbeck’s Zoo and mascot of the northern German television broadcaster, NDR. The Museum is popular both as a learning space for school groups and a venue for art classes. It is also used intensively for university teaching. The Museum hosts a number of special exhibitions and events.