NHM TOP 100

By Natural History Museum Vienna

Natural History Museum Vienna

100 OBJECTS …

30 million collection exhibits, 8,460 square meters of exhibition space, 100,000 exhibition objects, 250 years of research tradition, 300 staff members, the world’s oldest collection of meteorites, the Venus of Willendorf

… REVEAL HISTORY

Grand staircaseNatural History Museum Vienna

100 OBJECTS 100 STORIES INVITE YOU TO DISCOVER THOUSANDS MORE.

It was in the year 1750 that a mule caravan laden with 30,000 objects travelled over the Alpine passes on its way from Florence to Vienna. The transport cases contained everything from grains of sand to artificial gemstones. The expedition had been commissioned by Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, who had just purchased the world’s largest natural history collection from Jean de Baillou. In doing so he had laid the cornerstone of one of the world’s foremost natural history museums in Vienna.

Iceland SparNatural History Museum Vienna

01 ICELAND SPAR
Calcite. Iceland spar. Helgustadir, Iceland.19th century.
There are very few specimens of Iceland spar of this size and quality, even from the world’s best known source, the Helgustadir mine in Iceland.

Smoky QuartzNatural History Museum Vienna

02 SMOKY QUARTZ
Morion. Large crystal cave. Uri canton, Switzerland.1868.
With a circumference of 112 centimeters and weighing 115 kilograms, this crystal is one of the largest ever recovered from the cavern at Switzerland’s Tiefen Glacier.rom the cavern at Switzerland’s Tiefen Glacier.

Flowers of IronNatural History Museum Vienna

03 FLOWERS OF IRON
Aragonite. Erzberg in Styria, Austria. 1875.
The “flowers of iron” from Erzberg in Styria are known the world over for their beauty and quality. Even there, specimens of this size are found only very seldom.

EpidoteNatural History Museum Vienna

04 EPIDOTE
Epidote. 15 x 6 cm. Knappenwand, lower Sulzbach Valley in Salzburg, Austria. 1866.
Epidote crystals are rare and there are only a few occurrences of them world-wide. It was for this reason that Knappenwand in Salzburg attained world fame as a mineral deposit.

Rock SaltNatural History Museum Vienna

05 ROCK SALT
Halite. Wieliczka, Poland. 1900.
Rock salt crystals can attain a remarkable size. However, specimens weighing a thousand kilograms with cubes up to 30 centimeters long are an absolute rarity.

Imperial Turquoise TalismanNatural History Museum Vienna

06 IMPERIAL TURQUOISE TALISMAN
Turquoise. 25 x 20 cm. Nishapur, Iran. 1915.
This instantly recognizable piece worked in magnificent turquoise was a gift to Emperor Franz Joseph I from a Persian turquoise cutter.

Habach Valley EmeraldNatural History Museum Vienna

07 HABACH VALLEY EMERALD
Green beryl. 3.5 x 3 x 2 cm. Salzburg, Austria. 1874.
This emerald is one of the largest and finest specimens from the world-famous deposit in the Habach Valley.

Precious OpalNatural History Museum Vienna

08 PRECIOUS OPAL.
Opal.13 x 7 x 7 cm. Dubnik (Červenica), Slovakia. 1672.
At 594 grams, this precious opal is not only the largest from a European deposit, but also the most valuable gemstone in the Vienna collection.

Octahedral DiamondNatural History Museum Vienna

09 OCTHAHEDRAL DIAMOND
Diamond. 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm. South Africa. 1898.
The largest diamond in the Vienna collection is remarkable not only for its 82.5 carats, but also for its purity and perfect octahedral shape.

Platinum NuggetNatural History Museum Vienna

10 PLATINUM NUGGET
Native platinum. 12 x 10 x 8 cm. Ural in Siberia, Russia.1859.
At 6.2 kilograms, the NHM’s platinum nugget is the world’s third heaviest. Only two nuggets in the Russian State Treasury in Moscow weigh more.

Emerald Hand SpecimenNatural History Museum Vienna

11 EMERALD HAND SPECIMEN
Emeralds. 17 x 16 cm. Colombia/Tyrol. 1596.
Exquisite emeralds from Colombia were artistically cemented together using cobbler’s wax to make a hand specimen – a rare treasure from the early days of collecting.

Gemstone BouquetNatural History Museum Vienna

12 GEMSTONE BOUQUET
Height 50 cm. Frankfurt, Germany, and Vienna. Around 1760.
The baroque miniature gemstone collection – a gift from Maria Theresa to her husband – is unique both for the value of the stones and for their artistic workmanship.

Prince Eugene's SnuffboxNatural History Museum Vienna

13 PRINCE EUGENE'S SNUFFBOX
Lapis lazuli. Koksha Valley, Afghanistan. Before 1736.
This lapis lazuli snuffbox was made prior to 1736 and was owned by the celebrated Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy.

Astronomical Clock and OrreryNatural History Museum Vienna

14 ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK AND ORRERY
Johann Georg Nestfell. Hesse, Germany. 1753.
The astronomical clock and orrery is a miracle of precision engineering, which combines ultimate craftsmanship with the state of knowledge in astronomy in the first half of the 18th century.

Knyahinya Stony MeteoriteNatural History Museum Vienna

15 KNYAHINYA STONY METEORITE
Chondrite (L5). Knyahinya, Ukraine. 1866.
For a long time Knyahinya was the largest known stony meteorite. Fundamental research has been carried out on it regarding the radiation ages of meteorites.

Nakhla Martian MeteoriteNatural History Museum Vienna

16 NAKHLA MARTIAN METEORITE
SNC achondrite. Stony meteorite. Al Buhayrah, Egypt. 1911.
Of the circa 40,000 meteorites currently known, fewer than a hundred come from Mars. Nakhla is one of these extremely rare Martian meteorites.

Hraschina Iron MeteoriteNatural History Museum Vienna

17 HRASCHINA IRON METEORITE
Octahedrite. Hraschina, Croatia. Fell 1751.
Hraschina near Zagreb is one of the first scientifically investigated meteorites, and is the foundation of the Vienna meteorite collection, the oldest in the world.

Cabin Creek Iron MeteoriteNatural History Museum Vienna

18 CABIN CREEK IRON METEORITE
Medium octahedrite, IIIAB iron meteorite. Arkansas, USA. Fell 1886.
Cabin Creek is regarded as one of the most beautiful meteorites in the world, and is shown in many books on meteorites as the ideal example of an oriented meteorite.

Primeval Ringed WormNatural History Museum Vienna

19 PRIMEVAL RINGED WORM
Canadia spinosa. Burgess Pass, Canada. 505 million years.
The deposits at Burgess Pass give a unique picture of the ancient animal world. Primeval beings – including soft tissue – have been preserved here.

Extinct Seed PlantsNatural History Museum Vienna

20 EXTINCT SEED PLANTS
Pterophyllum jaegeri. Bennettitales. Lunz, Lower Austria. 220 million years.
The fossil plants of Lunz are unique in their wealth, their diversity and their outstanding state of preservation.

Primitive BirdNatural History Museum Vienna

21 PRIMITIVE BIRD
Confuciusornis sanctus. Liaoning, China. 125 million years.
The primitive bird Confuciusornis is one of the paleontological treasures. In this male, the long decorative feathers are unusually well preserved.

Primitive SnakeNatural History Museum Vienna

22 PRIMITIVE SNAKE
Pachyophis woodwardi. Bilek, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 100 million years.
One of the most primitive and oldest snakes in the world. This specimen was used for the first scientific description of the species Pachyophis woodwardi in 1923 (holotype).

Giant AmmoniteNatural History Museum Vienna

23 GIANT AMMONITE
Parapuzosia seppenradensis. Gosau, Styria. 85 million years.
Parapuzosia seppenradensis is the largest species of ammonite ever to live. At just under a meter diameter, this specimen is the second largest ammonite in Austria.

Ground Beetle in Baltic AmberNatural History Museum Vienna

24 GROUND BEETLE IN BALTIC AMBER
Carabidae. Kaliningrad, Russia. 50 million years.
Insects captured in amber, a fossil resin, are some of the most attractive examples of primeval life.

Hoe TuskerNatural History Museum Vienna

25 HOE TUSKER
Prodeinotherium bavaricum. Frantiskovy Lázne, Czech Republic. 16 million years.
Complete skeletons of large mammals, such as this Deinotherium (hoe tusker), are very rare and valuable. Mostly, only individual fossil bones are discovered in alluvial deposits.

Fossil Oyster ReefNatural History Museum Vienna

26 FOSSIL OYSTER REEF
Crassostrea gryphoides (giant oyster) & Perna aquitanica (giant mussel). Stetten in Lower Austria. 16.5 million years. The largest oysters and mussels ever to live formed a mighty reef in today’s Korneuburg Basin. This was also the origin of the world’s largest fossil pearl.

Scorpion FishNatural History Museum Vienna

27 SCORPION FISH
Scorpaena prior. St. Margarethen in Burgenland. 14 million years.
St. Margarethen is a world-class lagerstätte, but most of the scientific sensations from this site seem commonplace. The scorpion fish is an exception.

Primeval Dwarf HorsesNatural History Museum Vienna

28 PRIMEVAL DWARF HORSES
Eurohippus messelensis. Messel, near Darmstadt, Germany. 47 million years.
The primeval horses from Messel are among the most important fossils, both because of their outstanding state of preservation and because of their key role in equine evolution.

DiplodocusNatural History Museum Vienna

29 DIPLODOCUS
Diplodocus carnegii. Wyoming, USA. Cast. 150 million years.
The Diplodocus skeleton is the biggest exhibit at NHM, and was one of the first almost complete skeletons of the large dinosaurs to be discovered.

Giant Marine TurtleNatural History Museum Vienna

30 GIANT MARINE TURTLE
Archelon ischyros. South Dakota, USA. 72 million years.
The world’s largest, most complete and heaviest turtle skeleton.

Cave Bear with CubNatural History Museum Vienna

31 CAVE BEAR WITH CUB
Ursus spelaeus. Hartelsgraben near Hieflau, Styria. 35,000 years.
The only complete skeleton of a young cave bear.

Skull from Franzhausen Burial SiteNatural History Museum Vienna

32 SKULL FROM FRANZHAUSEN BURIAL SITE
Bronze Age. 1,600 BC. Franzhausen, Lower Austria.
The skull, which is some 4,000 years old, is a unique example of the Bronze Age as a time of fundamental economic and social change.

Ornamental Dagger from MaiersdorfNatural History Museum Vienna

33 ORNAMENTAL DAGGER FROM MAIERSDORF
Bronze Age. 1,600-1,300 BC. Maiersdorf, near Wiener Neustadt, Lower Austria.
The bronze ornamental dagger is one of the finest examples of Bronze Age smithing, and its fantastical scratch decoration is particularly appealing.

Horse Tack from StillfriedNatural History Museum Vienna

34 HORSE TACK FROM STILLFRIED.
Bronze Age. 950 BC. Stillfried an der March, Lower Austria.
The bronze horse tack from Stillfried is some of the oldest metal tack found in Austria, and indicates links with the Eurasian steppes.

Statuette from GalgenbergNatural History Museum Vienna

35 STATUETTE FROM GALGENBERG
Old Stone Age. 36,000 years. Stratzing, Krems-Rehberg, Lower Austria.
For long, Fanny was regarded as the world’s oldest human figure. It was not until 2008 that a human figure was discovered at Hohle Fels, a cave in southern Germany, which is probably even older.

Venus of WillendorfNatural History Museum Vienna

36 VENUS OF WILLENDORF
Paleolithic Age. 29,500 years. Willendorf in Wachau, Lower Austria.
The perfection of the representation and harmonious style make the 29,500-year-old figure of the “Venus of Willendorf” one of the most expressive works of art from the Paleolithic Age.

Seated Idol of PazarzhikNatural History Museum Vienna

37 SEATED IDOL OF PAZARDZHIK
Neolithic Age. Circa 4,500 BC. Pazardzhik, Bulgaria.
Although the exact circumstances of the discovery are unknown, the clay figure from Pazardzhik is the most important seated female figure from the New Stone Age in Bulgaria, due to its design.

Stollhof HoardNatural History Museum Vienna

38 STOLLHOF HOARD
Neolithic Age. 4,000 BC. Hohe Wand mountains, Lower Austria.
One of the most important finds from the New Stone Age was in the region of the Hohe Wand mountains, where Austria’s oldest gold and copper artefacts were buried.

Golden Axe of TufalauNatural History Museum Vienna

39 GOLDEN AXE OF TUFALAU
Bronze Age. Circa 1650 BC. Tufalau, Romania.
The pure gold crested axe was not a practical piece but a very rare status symbol, evidence of a high social position and great economic power.

Langobardian Gold BroochNatural History Museum Vienna

40 LANGOBARDIAN GOLD BROOCH
Migration Period. Circa 568 AD. Perchtoldsdorf, Lower Austria.
The brooch in silver, gilded and decorated with almandines is a unique find for Austria. The form and design are essential for dating.

Langobardian Decorative Horse TackNatural History Museum Vienna

41 LANGOBARDIAN DECORATIVE HORSE TACK
Migration Period. After 500 AD. Hauskirchen, Lower Austria.
The splended horse tack comes from a woman’s grave. It is regarded as a masterpiece of the Langobardian goldsmiths, and is unique in the settled region along the Danube.

Leather Bag from HallstattNatural History Museum Vienna

42 LEATHER BAG FROM HALLSTATT
Bronze Age. 13th Century AD. Salt mine at Hallstatt, Upper Austria.
Organic materials, such as this leather bag, could only be preserved for over 3,000 years in the prehistoric mine at Hallstatt – an archeological sensation.

Bronze ScoopNatural History Museum Vienna

43 BRONZE SCOOP
Iron Age. 600 BC. Hallstatt, Upper Austria.
These two unusual bronze ladles with cow-calf handles have been found only at Hallstatt so far. These masterpieces of Iron Age ironwork were used as scoops.

Bird ChariotNatural History Museum Vienna

44 BIRD CHARIOT
Bronze Age/Iron Age. 800-600 BC. Glasinac near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The bird chariot is an outstanding piece of art by prehistoric bronze casters and a rare cult object with high symbolic content from an illiterate culture.

Figure of a BullNatural History Museum Vienna

45 FIGURE OF A BULL
Iron Age. 5th century BC. Bycí skála Cave (“Bull Rock Cave”) near Brno, Czech Republic.
The 2,500-year-old bull in bronze is one of the most artistically sophisticated and valuable figures from the Hallstatt culture.

Kuffern SitulaNatural History Museum Vienna

46 KUFFERN SITULA
Iron Age. Circa 400 BC. Kuffern (formerly Kuffarn) in Traisen Valley, Lower Austria.
The Kuffern situla, the northernmost find of this type, is striking for its detailed bands of images from the life of the Celts 2,400 years ago.

Mladeč SkullNatural History Museum Vienna

47 MLADEC SKULL
Paleolithic Age. 35,000 years. Cavern at Mladeč, Moravia, Czech Republic.
As one of the oldest definitively dated Homo sapiens finds in Europe, the Mladeč skull is at the focus of current scientific controversy about human history.

Japanese Giant Spider CrabNatural History Museum Vienna

48 JAPANESE GIANT SPIDER CRAB
Macrocheira kaempferi. Japan. 1882.
These two unusually large giant spider crabs are on display since the opening of the NHM in 1889.

Protozoa ModelsNatural History Museum Vienna

49 PROZOZOA MODELS
Protista. Preparation laboratory NHM. 2007.
Protozoa are generally so small that they can hardly be displayed in the original. The lifelike plastic models with glass spines were made at the NHM in 2007.

Glass Model of a Fried Egg JellyfishNatural History Museum Vienna

50 GLASS MODEL OF A FRIED EGG JELLYFISH
Cotylorhiza tuberculata. Blaschka workshop.Dresden, Germany. Circa 1870.
With unique artistry, Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka created thousands of glass models in the 19th century. The few remaining examples are now priceless rarities.

Wax Models of Pork TapewormsNatural History Museum Vienna

51 WAX MODELS OF PORK TAPEWORMS
Taenia solium. Florence. 1873.
These models are considered some of the earliest three-dimensional and scientifically correct representations of the dangerous parasite in all stages of development.

Dr. Sömmerring's Fish TapewormNatural History Museum Vienna

52 DR. SÖMMERRING'S FISH TAPEWORM
Diphyllobothrium latum. Germany. Circa 1811.
The fish tapeworm comes from a stool sample from the German doctor Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring and is one of the oldest complete tapeworm specimens in the world.

Black Smoker ChimneyNatural History Museum Vienna

53 BLACK SMOKER CHIMNEY
Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea. 2004.
The completely dark environment of black and white smokers in the deep sea, which were discovered only in 1978 by the deep sea submergence vehicle Alvin, has turned out to be a diverse ecosystem.

Giant ClamNatural History Museum Vienna

54 GIANT CLAM
Tridacna gigas. Indo-Pacific. Soft body replica 1998.
Giant clams are the largest clams in the world and are now strictly protected. The shells together with a soft body replica can be seen only at the NHM Vienna.

Dom Pedro CaddyNatural History Museum Vienna

55 DOM PEDRO CADDY
Viennese goldsmith’s shop. Circa 1750.
The Dom Pedro caddy was a gift from the crown prince of Brazil to his father-in-law, Emperor Franz I, but it also symbolizes a piece of research history.

Ernst Grundmann Ladybird CollectionNatural History Museum Vienna

56 ERNST GRUNDMANN LADYBIRD COLLECTION.
Anatis ocellata, Coccinellidae. Special collection of Ernst Grundmann. 1970.
Meticulously kept private collections such as Ernst Grundmann’s special collection of ladybirds (ladybugs) are invaluable to research at natural history museums.

Common HouseflyNatural History Museum Vienna

57 COMMON HOUSEFLY
Musca domestica. Gypsum plaster replica. Circa 1950.
Unlike the often huge plastic models that are common today, this detailed historic replica of a common housefly, magnified 65 times, is one of a kind.

Diorama of a Wetlands PondNatural History Museum Vienna

58 DIORAMA OF A WETLANDS POND
Entomology Department of the NHM. 2004.
Many museums have habitat representations. Adaptation to historic surroundings and the visual linking of diorama and showcase, however, are unique.

Whip SpiderNatural History Museum Vienna

59 WHIP SPIDER
Charinus ioanniticus. Rhodes, Greece. 1959.
This whip spider is the first and only species of whip spider that has been found in Europe. It was discovered by an NHM researcher in 1959.

Sea Spider with YoungNatural History Museum Vienna

60 SEA SPIDER WITH YOUNG
Nymphon robustum. Jan Mayen Island in the Greenland Sea, Norway. 1885.
Sea spiders are some of the most enigmatic of animals; their classification is unclear to this day. In particular males with young can be seen in very few museums.

Viennese BasiliskNatural History Museum Vienna

61 VIENNESE BASILISK
Mythical creature. Transformed ray. Royal Cabinet of Curiosities. 16th/17th century.
Since the “king of venomous animals” could not be omitted from any cabinet of curiosities but did not occur in nature, a likeness had to be made. The Viennese basilisk is a transformed ray.

Great White SharkNatural History Museum Vienna

62 GREAT WHITE SHARK.
Carcharodon carcharias. Adriatic Sea. Mounted specimen, circa 1900.
In about 1900, when this specimen was mounted – an exceptional example of early taxidermy – there were very few illustrations of live sharks.

Beluga SturgeonNatural History Museum Vienna

63 BELUGA STURGEON
Huso huso. Rába/Danube estuary, Hungary. 1897.
A European sturgeon three meters long was considered a spectacular rarity even in 1897, when this example was caught near Györ in the River Rába.

ArapaimaNatural History Museum Vienna

64 ARAPAIMA
Arapaima gigas. Also pirarucu, paiche. Amazon Basin, Brazil. Natterer, 1817-1835.
This arapaima is one of the oldest skin mounts in the world. The cadaver of the rare freshwater predatory fish was superbly mounted by 19th century standards.

Ocean SunfishNatural History Museum Vienna

65 OCEAN SUNFISH
Mola mola. Also common mola. Probably Mediterranean.Mounted specimen, late 19th century.
Ocean sunfish are very rare. At nearly two meters long, this specimen is one of the largest that has ever been mounted.

OarfishNatural History Museum Vienna

66 OARFISH
Regalecus glesne. Also king of herrings. New Zealand. Caught circa 1890. Mounted in 1930.
Unscathed oarfish are seldom caught and therefore rarely seen in museums. At six meters long, this specimen was extremely difficult to mount.

CoelacanthNatural History Museum Vienna

67 COELACANTH
Latimeria chalumnae. Comoro Islands. Acquisition, 1973 and 1974.
Their appearance and their status as “living fossils” make coelacanths much sought-after exhibition items. The NHM has two specimens – one skeleton and one complete mount.

TuataraNatural History Museum Vienna

68 TUATARA
Sphenodon punctatus. New Zealand. Mounted specimen, circa 1885.
Tuataras are now found only on about 30 small islands off the coast of New Zealand. The Sphenodon collection at the NHM Vienna is one of the largest collections outside New Zealand.

Abingdon Island TortoiseNatural History Museum Vienna

69 ABINGDON ISLAND TORTOISE
Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii. Pinta Island (=Abingdon), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Mounted specimen, ca.1914.
The one-hundred-year old historic specimen of the now virtually extinct Abingdon Island tortoise is irreplaceable and correspondingly valuable on two counts.

Ganges Gharial PairNatural History Museum Vienna

70 GANGES GHARIAL PAIR
Gavialis gangeticus. Also Indian gavial. India. Mounted specimens, circa 1900.
At four and five meters long, these two mounted specimens are some of the longest Ganges gharials on display in a museum.

Komodo DragonNatural History Museum Vienna

71 KOMODO DRAGON
Varanus komodoensis. Komodo Islands, Indonesia. Mounted specimen, 1932.
Very few museums have mounted specimens of the largest lizards in the world. The NHM also has a komodo dragon preserved in alcohol – an unusual method of preserving so large an animal.

Cuvier’s Smooth-Fronted CaimanNatural History Museum Vienna

72 CUVIER'S SMOOTH-FRONTED CAIMAN
Paleosuchus palpebrosus. Paraguay River, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Mounted specimen, circa 1830.
The caiman, which arrived at the museum from Brazil in about 1830, is an example of early taxidermy, but also represents an exciting piece of zoological research history.

Arrau TurtleNatural History Museum Vienna

73 ARRAU TURTLE
Podocnemis expansa. Manaus, Brazil. Mounted specimen, circa 1843.
As a mounted specimen, this Arrau turtle is an example of early taxidermy. Furthermore, such large specimens are rarely found today.

Sea Eagle PairNatural History Museum Vienna

74 SEA EAGLE PAIR
Haliaeetus albicilla. Danube wetlands near Vienna, Austria. Mounted specimens, 1889.
This sea eagle pair was bagged by Crown Prince Rudolf on 22 January 1889 in the Danube wetlands near Vienna - just nine days before he committed suicide in Mayerling.

Galapagos CormorantNatural History Museum Vienna

75 GALAPAGOS CORMORANT
Phalacrocorax harrisi. Also flightless cormorant.Origin: unknown. Second half of 19th century.
The only flightless cormorant is extremely rare both in the wild and in museum collections. When and how this specimen came to the NHM is undocumented.

ShoebillNatural History Museum Vienna

76 SHOEBILL
Balaeniceps rex. Bahr el Ghazal estuary, Sudan. 1913.
The rare African bird with the unusual beak can be seen in various zoos, but in very few museums. The exhibit at the NHM is very true to life.

MoaNatural History Museum Vienna

77 MOA
Dinornithidae. New Zealand. 1857-1859.
These skeletons of two extinct moa species were found in a cave in New Zealand by Ferdinand von Hochstetter during the Novara expedition and brought to Vienna in 1859.

HoatzinNatural History Museum Vienna

78 HOATZIN
Opisthocomus hoazin. Also Canje pheasant, stinkbird. Rio Parnaíba, Piauí, Brazil. 1903.
The diorama illustrates one behavior typical of hoatzins: chicks use their wing claws to climb back into the nest after dropping into the water as a means of escape.

Great ArgusNatural History Museum Vienna

79 GREAT ARGUS
Argusianus argus. Also Argus pheasant. Schönbrunn Zoo. 1932.
Its magnificent plumage makes the Great Argus a popular but challenging aviary bird. This cock from Schönbrunn Zoo was particularly dramatically mounted.

DodoNatural History Museum Vienna

80 DODO
Raphus cucullatus. Mauritius. Skeleton acquisition, 1905.
The NHM owns not only the most complete dodo skeleton anywhere in the world, but has also had a state-of-the-art reconstruction of this extinct species since 2011.

Kakapo GroupNatural History Museum Vienna

81 KAKAPO GROUP
Strigops habroptilus. Also owl parrot. New Zealand. Mounted specimens, 1884.
The NHM is one of the few museums in the world that not only possesses an entire group of the very rare kakapo, but has them displayed in a historic diorama.

White-Faced OwlNatural History Museum Vienna

82 WHITE-FACED OWL
Sceloglaux albifacies. Also laughing owl, whekau. New Zealand.
This mounted specimen of a white-faced owl – an extinct owl species found only in New Zealand – is a true rarity. When and how it came to the NHM is not known.

Rhinoceros HornbillNatural History Museum Vienna

83 RHINOCEROS HORNBILL
Buceros rhinoceros. Java, Indonesia. Circa 1833.
Attention to detail was a high priority in the restoration of this historic diorama in 2010. Even the hornbill’s prey, which is a small flying dragon, is an original.

ThylacineNatural History Museum Vienna

84 THYLACINE
Thylacinus cynocephalus. Also Tasmanian tiger. Tasmania, Australia. 1870.
There are very few mounted specimens of this extinct species in the world today. The example at the NHM is one of the most beautiful.

Brown-throated SlothNatural History Museum Vienna

85 BROWN-THROATED SLOTH
Bradypus variegatus. Borba, Rio Madeira, River Amazon, Brazil. 1830.
When naturalist Johann Natterer found this sloth during the Austrian expedition to Brazil and sent it to the NHM in 1830, it was a true rarity in Europe.

Southern Elephant SealNatural History Museum Vienna

86 SOUTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL
Mirounga leonina.South Atlantic, Falkland Islands. 1901.
Very few museums own a specimen this large, and even fewer have one over a hundred years old. The skin, skull and teeth are original; the skeleton is in storage.

Steller’s Sea CowNatural History Museum Vienna

87 STELLER'S SEA COW
Hydrodamalis gigas. Also giant sea cow, formerly borkentier. Northern Pacific. 1897.
Of the 27 extant skeletons of this extinct species worldwide, none is complete. The almost complete specimen at the NHM is the only one with pelvic bones.

OkapisNatural History Museum Vienna

88 OKAPIS
Okapia johnstoni. Also forest giraffe. Mbau, Kivu, Zaire, now Congo. 1910.
When these two okapis went on display at the NHM in 1910, the discovery of the species was still quite sensational in Europe. To this day, okapis are rarely seen at museums.

Javan RhinocerosNatural History Museum Vienna

89 JAVAN RHINOCEROS
Rhinoceros sondaicus. Asia. Mounted specimen, 1801.
This Javan rhinoceros is not only the oldest mounted animal at the NHM, it is also one of the oldest and best preserved historic mounted specimens in the world.

Przewalski's HorseNatural History Museum Vienna

90 PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE
Equus ferus przewalskii. Also Mongolian wild horse, Asian wild horse. Prague. Circa 1940.
This Przewalski’s horse is the pure-blooded offspring of a population from the Altai Mountains and a direct descendent of the 54 animals used to save the subspecies.

WisentNatural History Museum Vienna

91 WISENT
Bison bonasus. Also European bison. Bialowieza, Poland. 2005. Calf: Schönbrunn Zoo. 1923.
Unlike most of the exhibits at the NHM, the wisent group is shown in surroundings that seem realistic. The adult animals come from a sanctuary in Bialowieza.

TakinNatural History Museum Vienna

92 TAKIN
Budorcas taxicolor. Asia. Mannequin mount, 1908.
NHM Vienna is the only museum in Central Europe to have a takin skin mount on display. It was bought in London in 1908, and was considered exceptional even then.

Siberian Musk DeerNatural History Museum Vienna

93 SIBERIAN MUSK DEER
Moschus moschiferus. Asia. Mounted specimen, 1912.
These two musk deer were killed in 1912 in Siberia. The species is still being hunted and poached for the male’s musk gland and is greatly threatened.

BinturongsNatural History Museum Vienna

94 BINTURONGS
Arctictis binturong. Also Asian Bearcat, Palawan Bearcat. Schönbrunn Zoo. 1904 and 1905.
These historic mounts of the rare Asian viverrid hold enormous appeal because of the facial expression and stance, which make the binturongs seem almost alive.

Snow LeopardNatural History Museum Vienna

95 SNOW LEOPARD
Uncia uncia. Also ounce. Schönbrunn Zoo. 1943.
Snow leopards are the most threatened big cats on Earth. Thanks to a breeding program, they can now frequently be seen at zoos, but are seldom displayed at museums.

Giant PandaNatural History Museum Vienna

96 GIANT PANDA
Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Also panda bear. Sifang, Szechuan, now Sichuan, China. 1909.
Although 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.

Madagascan Aye-AyeNatural History Museum Vienna

97 MADAGASCAN AYE-AYE
Daubentonia madagascariensis. Madagascar. Mounted specimen,1907.
Aye-ayes, primates in the lemur group threatened by extinction, are seldom displayed in natural history museums, although they are remarkable in several ways.

GeladaNatural History Museum Vienna

98 GELADA
Theropithecus gelada. Also bleeding heart baboon. Ethiopia. 1854.
This very rare primate arrived at the NHM in 1854 thanks to the efforts of naturalist Theodor von Heuglin. Unusually for the time, it was mounted in a realistic pose.

Blue Swimming CrabNatural History Museum Vienna

99 BLUE SWIMMING CRAB
Portunus pelagicus. Graphite pencil drawing. Ferdinand Lukas Bauer. Circa 1802.
This graphite pencil sketch is the best illustration of the color code developed by Ferdinand Bauer that ensured true-to-life colors in scientific watercolor paintings.

Early Admission TicketNatural History Museum Vienna

100 EARLY ADMISSION TICKET
Copper engraving on cardboard. Circa 1798.
The oldest admission ticket to a natural history museum was elaborately designed and individually issued. The predecessor institution to the NHM was housed at the Imperial Palace.

Credits: Story

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM VIENNA

Responsible for the project: Reinhard Golebiowski, Christian Köberl, Iris Ott, Sabine Rubik, Brigitta Schmid, Gabriel Stöckle.

Scientific expertise and selection of objects:

Mineralogy: Franz Brandstätter, Vera Hammer, Uwe Kolitsch

Paleontology: Ursula Göhlich, Mathias Harzhauser, Andreas Kroh, Alexander Lukeneder, Oleg Mandic

Anthropology: Maria Teschler-Nicola

Prehistory: Walpurga Antl-Weiser, Anton Kern, Peter Stadler

Invertrebates excluding insects: Peter Dworschak, Anita Eschner, Christoph Hörweg, Helmut Sattmann

Insects: Robert Ilek, Martin Lödl, Iris Rubin, Peter Sehnal

Vertebrates: Anita Gamauf, Richard Gemel, Heinz Grillitsch, Ernst Mikschi, Silke Schweiger, Helmut Wellendorf, Frank Zachos

History of science: Christa Riedl-Dorn

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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