From Invertebrates to Reptiles

Biodiversity: Plants, Fungi, Invertebrates, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles

The classification of the diversity of life is one of the primary goals of natural history collections. Systematics and taxonomy are the biological disciplines that address the description of species, their relationships, and evolution. Four galleries of Schloss Rosenstein reflect this classical function of natural history museums. Many interesting exhibits offer a general, albeit incomplete overview of the diversity of life. The main focus of the exhibition is on vertebrates, a group that comprises “only” 60 000 of the estimated several million species that exist on Earth today.

The first hall is dedicated to biodiversity and offers:

  • an overview of the flora, from algae to mosses and ferns to flowering plants
  • a brief insight into the diversity of fungi, popularly still regarded as plants by many. However, the fungi constitute a kingdom on their own that is much more closely related to animals than to plants.
  • an introduction to lichens, mutualism elevated to a life form: lichens are the product of a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi
  • a notable selection of invertebrate animals, including sponges, molluscs, and echinoderms. However, the emphasis is on arthropods. With diversity estimated at millions of species, they dominate the world and therefore we grant them more space than any other invertebrate group. The arthropods comprise millipedes, arachnids, and the amazingly diverse crustaceans and insects.
  • The rear half of the hall is dedicated to vertebrates, namely to fishes, amphibians, and reptiles.

Common Liverwort


Sea snail

Swimming crab



Strawberry poison-dart frog

Komodo dragon

Tortoise shell