The Muséum de Toulouse, sometimes known as MHNT or Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de la ville de Toulouse, is a museum of natural history in Toulouse, France. It is located in the Busca-Montplaisir, and houses a collection of more than 2.5 million items.
1 History 2 Permanent exhibitions 3 Collections
3.1 Prehistory 3.2 Botany 3.3 Entomology
3.3.1 Coleoptera 3.3.2 Lepidoptera 3.3.3 Orthoptera
3.4 Mineralogy 3.5 Ornithology 3.6 Osteology 3.7 Paleontology
3.7.1 Invertebrates 3.7.2 Vertebrates
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The museum was founded in 1796 by the naturalist Philippe-Isidore Picot de Lapeyrouse. It was at that time housed in the old buildings of the monastery of the carmelite friars. It was opened to the public in 1865 in its present location and under the directorship of Édouard Filhol. Toulouse museum was the first museum in the world to open a gallery of prehistory, thanks to the collaboration of Émile Cartailhac, Jean-Baptiste Noulet, and Eugène Trutat. Today the museum is housed in a 2007 building designed by the architect Jean-Paul Viguier. Permanent exhibitions The permanent exhibition has five linked themes:
Sequence 1: Feeling the Earth's power.
Nature of the solar system and its formation. Nature of the Earth – plate tectonics, seismic and volcanic activity and erosion, petrology and mineralogy.
Sequence 2: Doing away with our notions of hierarchy
The nature of life – biodiversity, classification, and organization.
Sequence 3: Getting to grips with the huge scale.
Earth history from 3.8 billion years ago. Introduces time, palaeontology and the evolution of life
Sequence 4: Admitting the obvious
The main functions of living beings—feeding, respiration, locomotion, reproduction, protection and communication.
Sequence 5: Inventing the future.
The impact of human activity—demographic pressure on ecosystems and natural resources
This section presents examples to illustrate the content of each
different collection of the Museum de Toulouse.
The prehistoric collection includes mostly artefacts excavated in
France. They also contain comparative material from other parts of
Europe and other continents. Notable collectors include Édouard
The herbarium contains historic specimens collected by Benjamin Balansa (1825–1891).
Cerapterus pilipennis - Zambia
Hiperantha testacea Bupestrid from Colombia
Metaxymorpha gloriosa Bupestrid from North Queensland, Australia
Historis odius - Colombia
Morpho didius - Peru
Archaeoprepona licomedes - Brazil
Titanacris albipes- French Guyana
Porphyromma speciosa-French Guyana
Celestine - Turkmenistan
The bird collection of MHNT contains more than 30,000 specimens, of which 20,000 are eggs. About 8,500 bird mounts and 1,500 scientific bird skins are included. Other bird items are around 2,000 skeletons and skulls and 5,300 eggs. The collection focuses on Europe (especially France), but the collection also has exotic species . Most are documented on card or computer systems. The bird mount collection of Victor Besaucèle, with 5,000 specimens, is one of the most important historic collections in Europe. Other collectors represented are R. Bourret, G. Cossaune, M. Gourdon, Hammonville, A. Lacroix, and Reboussin.
Snowy owl: The oldest mount in the museum, collected by Mr Dode in 1807
The egg collection of
Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut
Egg of wedge-tailed eagle
Egg of little egret
Egg of helmeted guineafowl
Egg of southern giant petrel
Nest of common house martin
Eastern woolly lemur
Red howler monkey
The specimens of the collection of paleontology amount to tens of
thousands. They date from the
Woolly rhinoceros, complete skull
Cave bear mandible of
Part of this article is a translation of (or greatly inspired by) the
French's article (see the list of authors)
François Bon, Sébastien Dubois, Marie-Dominique Labails, 2010. Le
Muséum de Toulouse
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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 130895847 ISNI: 0000 0001 2158 3469 SUDOC: 028667107 BNF: cb1204