In the first week of September, a grandson of the English naturalist Charles Darwin is going to open a brand-new museum of evolution, known as the Darwineum, in the zoo in the German city of Rostock. After more than ten years of work and 15 months of construction, the museum will be launched on September 7, with the presence of the anthropologist Felix Padel, a descendant of Darwin (1809-1882) and with more than 600 guest. The next day, the museum will be open for the public.
The Darwineum will have a surface area of 20,000 square meters offering an incredible journey through the history of the evolution by combining adventure, environmental education and science, to play, participate and think. Such a luxury. In the Darwineum, the tourist will venture into the world of gorillas and orangutans, as well as more than 40 animal species, in a journey that starts with a trip back in time of billions of years to the beginning of life and that continues to the present.
Also, this spectacular museum, with a cost of 28.34 million euros, is the largest infrastructural project of the German zoo. It provides a new home to the apes, developed to suit the particular needs of this animal species. In addition, the Darwineum exhibits different animals in the history of the evolution of mammals, reptiles, fish, insects and invertebrates, such as the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands, small ants, salamanders, sloths, jellyfish, seahorses and nautilus cichlids from Malawi, among many more.
More about the Darwineum can be found here.
Some facts about Darwin
We know a lot about the theory and principles of Charles Darwin, but almost nothing about his eccentric tastes. Would you have imagined that he always wanted to be a doctor, but had phobia for blood? Here some curiosities about this great character.
- The phrase “survival of the fittest” is not invented by Darwin. It was Herbert Spencer, a contemporary philosopher to Darwin, who used it in his book “Principles of Biology”, published in 1864. Only in the fifth edition of his book “The origin of species’, Darwin referred to Spencer, leaving the famous phrase wrongly attributed to the biologist.
- Darwin wanted to be a physician but his phobia about blood overtook him. Darwin entered the University of Edinburgh with plans of becoming a doctor like his father, Robert Darwin, but was unable to overcome his aversion to blood. Curiously, from medicine he changed to theology with the idea of becoming a field priest, allowing him to develop his interest in biology.
- He married his cousin. In spite of the fact that at the time of Darwin it was common maintain ties of kinship through intermarriage between family members, it was not an easy decision for Darwin to marry Emma Wedgwood. The conflict was so profound that he even drew up a list with the pros and cons of making that commitment. Obviously intermarriage is conflicting the theory he later developed.
Rostock is a city located in Germany. It is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, at the mouth of the Warnow River. Previously, it was part of the former German Democratic Republic.
Charles Darwin Documentary (BBC)
Documentary telling the little known story of how Darwin came to write his great masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, a book which explains the wonderful variety of the natural world as emerging out of death and the struggle of life. The story is told with the benefit of Darwin´s secret notes and correspondence, enhanced by natural history filming, imagery from the time and contributions from leading contemporary biographers and scientists. It took twenty years to develop a brilliant idea into a revolutionary book that changed the way we see the world. Darwin went through a personal struggle every bit as turbulent as that of the natural world he observed. Fortunately, he left us an extraordinary record of his brilliant insights, observations of nature, and touching expressions of love and affection for those around him. He also wrote frank accounts of family tragedies, physical illnesses and moments of self doubt, as he labored towards publication of the Origin of Species.