Cantonal Museum of Zoology
Created in 1818, the Cantonal Museum of Zoology brought together the old collections mentioned in a 1779 manuscript: “678 shells, 377 fossils, 239 foreign and indigenous birds, a small collection of snakes from Surinam and some quadrupeds preserved in spirits…”
Today, it houses immense and exciting collections, along with a library containing more than 5300 titles.
The true story of the ant and the grasshopper
In the large gallery, the permanent exhibition introduces the main groups of vertebrates one by one, while the comparative anatomy room presents skeletons and jarred specimens in incredible detail.
Finally, the entomological collections (insects) are certainly the forte of the museum. The fascinating world of ants is especially interesting for visitors. Myrmecology (the study of ants) has been a major part of the Cantonal Museum of Zoology since 1982, with the arrival of several researchers in the field. The rooms devoted to regional wildlife and cryptozoology (the study of animals not yet known in science) are closed for work until around 2010.
For children, the museum organizes tours through the galleries and allows classes to come and discover the ants. The museum’s cinema shows documentaries on subjects as varied as polar bears, dinosaurs, volcanoes and rainforests. And here’s the icing on the cake: you can set up birthday parties with treasure hunts and a small bonus film!