The natural history collections of the museum include more than five and a half million items that were collected in our region during the last century, and document the world of fauna and flora and the evolution of the human species over thousands of years. These collections, recognized as national collections, grow and are renewed constantly and comprise a research infrastructure for scientists in Israel and around the world.
Over 1000 items are displayed in the exhibition, some of them rare, such as a leopard collected in the Jerusalem Hills and the last crocodile seen in our country. These items document the animals that went extinct in our region, and they belong to the historic collection of Father Schmitz. Schmitz, a priest and zoologist, studied animals in Israel and its environs and left behind a collection that provides rare documentation of the biodiversity that existed here about a century ago.
As part of the exhibition, nine collections selected from the museum’s twenty-four collections are present here; they provide a close encounter with dozens of mammals, birds and fish and with hundreds of insects, corals, crustaceans and mollusks. These impressive and extraordinary items tell the story of research and discoveries by Israeli scientists, made possible by the existence of this national treasure.