The Zoological Museum

Founded in 1859 as a section of the Transylvanian Museum, the Zoological Museum of the Babeş-Bolyai University is hosted on the first floor, next to the Biology Faculty, the Faculty's Library, the Speology Institute, the University's Filmmaking Center, and the Electron Microscopy Center.

The Museum has enlarged its heritage every year, so that today it is one of the largest museums of its kind in Romania. Thus, on a surface of only 700 m², the public has the opportunity of meeting a vast part of the animal species belonging to Romania's fauna as well as species originating from different parts of the world.

The Museum was organized first of all according to the philogenetic criterion and, implicitly, to the systematic (taxonomic) one. Due to this fact, the biological material is exposed in the order dictated by structure complexity, from metazoa with the most simple body structure (sponges or water sponges) to mammals. The Museum reflects the evolution from simple to complex structures in the animal world.

From the point of view of compartimentation, a hall is dedicated to temporary exhibitions, and permanent exhibitions are presented within three rooms. The first room hosts representatives of the main groups of invertebrates (protozoa, sponges, coelenterates, worms, moluscs, crustaceans, insects, and echinoderms). In addition, in this room, the visitors will meet procordates (the precursors of vertebrates) and a part of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, and reptiles). The majority of the exhibits presented in this room is preserved in liquid (formol or alcohol). Some of them are dry preparations, like in the case of insects.

Beside the exhibits arranged taxonomically, the Museum holds also thematic insectaries revealing behavior aspects, the life environment of different species of insects, or curiosities. Among these curiosities, we mention the variation in the dimension of tropical butterflies according to the season, aspects of imitative homochromy and mimetism in butterflies and larvae, elaboration stages of the silk thread by the silk butterfly (Bombix mori).

The second room hosts the collection of birds and mammals. Of the vertebrates, birds are the best represented ones in the Museum.

A part of them is exposed in a didactic way, taxonomically, grouped according to the families. Beside the didactic cases, there are also dioramas and miniature dioramas presenting diverse species of birds in their life environments. Some dioramas reveal behavior aspects of the life of some species or curiosities, like in the case of albinism. Also in this room there are exposed nests and eggs of different bird species.

Mammals are exhibited in the Museum as naturalized exhibits (through stuffing). Like the birds, these are displayed individually, in taxonomic order, or grouped in thematic dioramas.

The connection between the two rooms is made through the diorama hall. The room contains six large dioramas and a miniature diorama in the center. The large dioramas, according to the aspects they present, are: the Danube Delta, Rush-bed Birds, Predatory Birds I, Predatory Birds II, the Bărăgan Plain, and Surviving Winter.

The miniature diorama in the center presents a collection of humming birds consisting of 45 samples (38 species). 

 

Activities 

The Zoological Museum of the Babeş-Bolyai University, although organized in a didactic manner, is accessible to the general public of all ages. For groups, depending on the possibilities, there are organized free guided tours on various themes and for different age groups, in different languages (Romanian or Hungarian).

The Zoological Museum serves also as a material basis for the studies of middle school and high school pupils. It is organized in such way that it offers the possibility of teaching biology lessons on various subjects, and it is a study place for students of the University's Biology Faculty.

Due to its complexity, the Museum is visited each year by groups of students of the faculties of biology, agronomy, etc., of other universities, by students of the Plastic Arts Faculty, pupils and researchers, who have the opportunity to complete their knowledge about the animal world.