The day I walked around the exhibits, the place was oddly empty. I talked to the security guard and he said that, since it was such a nice day out, people were spending their time outside instead. They get more visitors on rainy days. It was strange to me that that day was considered nice by the locals because it was horribly hot and muggy. The cool, dry interior of the museum was far preferable to me.
My camera battery was about to die on me because I’d forgotten to charge it the night before, so I didn’t take many pictures of the exhibits.
Chalicotheres! One of my favorite extinct groups. They’re related to rhinos, tapirs, and horses. There were two groups of them. The group in the picture here was characterized by having long arms like an ape and knuckle-walked like them too.
And their relative, the Malayan tapir, demonstrating what the attachment site of a proboscis looks like.
Cainotherium, a member of Cainotheriidae, a group I’d never heard of that Wikipedia tells me is distantly related to camels.
They used actual patterned feathers to make this Archeopteryx reconstruction. They had several other fake taxidemied extinct birds as well, but I only took one picture because of my battery.
One of the interesting things about the Basel exhibits was that some of their objects were just out on the floor with no stands or rope fences around them. This is unusual, because those are normally put into place to prevent people from touching the specimens and causing damage to them. But I have to admit, it was kind of cool to turn a corner and see a life-size Woolly Mammoth just standing in the middle of the room.
Stick insects! Demonstrating what’s probably the closest to true isometric growth I’ve ever seen in nature.
And no, it’s not completely isometric…I’m a big enough nerd that I actually took measurements to find out.
This was an interesting room. You see a set of glass double doors with no apparent way to open them, but they slide open when you get near with a sound and slickness that seems very sci-fi. Then you enter this room that’s even more sci-fi. Taxidermied mounts and skeletons in white and aqua boxes in a climate controlled room. It’s full of recently-extinct and highly endangered animals, like the panda, dodo, Steller’s sea cow, and saiga. One can very much imagine an archive like this, of species humans drove to extinction, in a futuristic building or ship. It was very well done.
And I’m not going to devote an entire extra post to the marketplace outside the museum, but it was cool.
A very colorful building
This is the weird charge I mentioned previously. It’s a very stylized bishop’s crozier and the symbol of the city.
I’d never seen a male siren before. You’re probably most familiar with them through the Starbucks logo, which is taken straight from a 16th century Norse woodcut.