Species - the Web of life

By Musée des Confluences

General view of the exhibition SpeciesMusée des Confluences

“Who are we, we humans and what is our place in the living world?”

In the exhibition entitled “Species, the network of life” you will discover this network of filaments, a metaphor for complex, multiple links among living beings. This network will accompany you throughout your reflections around this fundamental, existential question: “Who are we, we humans and what is our place in the living world?”

General view of the exhibition SpeciesMusée des Confluences

What makes humans a special type of animal is our very original combination of characteristics which, although present among other species, vary in terms of degree or mode. For example, they are social, intelligent beings that are conscious of their bodies… like others.

General view of the exhibition SpeciesMusée des Confluences

Like all living beings, humans are related to the natural environment and interact with the other species, but their impact on this living mesh to provide for their needs is considerable. The consequences for biodiversity are of great concern and humans are faced with difficult social decisions.

Cat mummies (332 av.-337 ap. J.-C.)Musée des Confluences

Cat mummies
The collections of the musée des Confluences include nearly 2,500 animal mummies. This remarkable number of mummified specimens is in fact the largest collection in the world outside of Egypt.

ype mask (20e siècle)Musée des Confluences

“Cara Grande” Mask

In Amazonia, ornaments, masks and body painting extend the body and become a form of clothing that the members of a group wear over their human form.

Huygens-type simple microscope (Vers 1680) by Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695)Musée des Confluences

Huygens simple microscope(Circa 1680)
This microscope was designed by the famous Dutch astronomer and physicist Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), who offered a new type of instrument with which to explore the invisible.

Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginianaMusée des Confluences

Virginia opossum
This entire naturalised specimen is a member of the Didelphidae Marsupials, the different species of which can be found from Canada to Costa Rica. Opossums are basically nocturnal, omnivorous animals.

Amulet as pectoral pendant, terewt (20e siècle)Musée des Confluences

Pectoral amulet known as “Terewt”

This imposing pectoral amulet is an essential part of women’s ornaments (among the Tuareg people) worn for important celebrations and weddings.

Dodo (Raphus cucullatus)Musée des Confluences

Dodo
The Dodo bird, hunted to extinction, is often cited as the first known example of a species disappearing due to human influence.

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