The Info List - MHNT

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

4 Henri Gaussen
Henri Gaussen
Botanical Garden 5 References 6 External links


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2011)

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[edit] 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

Collections[edit] This section presents examples to illustrate the content of each different collection of the Museum de Toulouse. Prehistory[edit] 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 Harlé (1850–1922), Antoine Meillet
Antoine Meillet
(1866– 1936), Alexis Damour (1808–1902), Félix Regnault
Félix Regnault
(1847–1908), Louis Péringuey (1855–1924), Émile Cartailhac
Émile Cartailhac
(1845–1921), Daniel Bugnicourt, Edward John Dunn
Edward John Dunn
(1844–1937), Henri Breuil
Henri Breuil
(1877–1961), and Louis Lartet (1840–1899), as well as the curators Jean-Baptiste Noulet (1802–1890), Eugène Trutat
Eugène Trutat
(1840 -1910), and Édouard Filhol (1814–1883).

tomb from Téviec, Brittany

Polished Neolithic
axes from Reims
France – Alexis Damour
Alexis Damour

Polished Neolithic
axes from Plagne Haute-Garonne collection Félix Régnault collection

Bronze bead necklace Holocene
Bronze age
Bronze age
Jean-Baptiste Noulet collection


The herbarium contains historic specimens collected by Benjamin Balansa (1825–1891).

phaseoloides – fruit

aegyptiaca – fibrous skeleton

Cassia fistula
Cassia fistula
– ripe fruit

Entomology[edit] Coleoptera[edit]

Cerapterus pilipennis - Zambia

Chrysochroa rajah
Chrysochroa rajah
thailandica - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hiperantha testacea Bupestrid from Colombia

Metaxymorpha gloriosa Bupestrid from North Queensland, Australia


Historis odius - Colombia

Charaxes varanes
Charaxes varanes
vologeses - Malawi

Morpho didius - Peru

Archaeoprepona licomedes - Brazil


Oedipoda caerulescens
Oedipoda caerulescens
- Etang de la Maourine Toulouse

Titanacris albipes- French Guyana

Porphyromma speciosa-French Guyana


Celestine - Turkmenistan

- France

- New Caledonia

- China

- Roumania


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

Yellow-faced myna

Toucan barbet

The egg collection of Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut
Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut
(1920–2007) was acquired in 2010. It contains his personal collections, supplemented by those of other ornithologists, notably Georges Guichard, Henri Heim de Balsac, and Rene de Naurois. It includes all the palearctic species (Europe, North Africa, and Asia), about 1,000 species and nearly 15,000 eggs, and is one of the most complete and best-documented palearctic egg collections in Europe.

Egg of wedge-tailed eagle

Egg of little egret

Egg of helmeted guineafowl

Egg of southern giant petrel

Nest of common house martin


European mole

Eastern woolly lemur

Red howler monkey

Yellow baboon

Paleontology[edit] The specimens of the collection of paleontology amount to tens of thousands. They date from the Paleoarchean
to the Eocene. Invertebrates[edit]

One of the oldest life forms, a Stromatolite
of Paleoarchean
age – 3, 600 to 3, 200 million years ago (Mya)

Trilobite of Middle Ordovician
Middle Ordovician
– 468 to 460 Mya


Woolly rhinoceros
Woolly rhinoceros
complete skeleton of Pleistocene
age – 370, 000 to 10, 000 years ago

Woolly rhinoceros, complete skull

Cave bear mandible of Pleistocene

Henri Gaussen
Henri Gaussen
Botanical Garden[edit] Main article: Jardin botanique Henri Gaussen

Jardin Henri Gaussen
Henri Gaussen
in winter

Henri Gaussen
Henri Gaussen
was a Toulouse-based phytogeographer and botanist. The botanic garden which honours his name is attached to the museum and is part of the Earth and Life
Science Research and Training Paul Sabatier University. A second botanical area, The Museum Gardens, extends over 3 hectares. It is notable for "potagers du monde" (vegetable gardens of the world) and a "shade house" which recreates the conditions required by shade plants. References[edit]

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
Muséum de Toulouse
et l'invention de la préhistoire Toulouse Editions Muséum de Toulouse
Muséum de Toulouse
ISBN 978-2-906702-18-9

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Muséum de Toulouse.

Official website

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 130895847 ISNI: 0000 0001 2158 3469 SUDOC: 028667107 BNF: cb1204