Tuscany through the ages

Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze

The Natural History Museum of Florence is divided into 6 different collections, including a botanical garden, a herbarium, and a museum of zoology. The Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia, which is the only one I’ve visited, includes 200,000 specimens of geology and paleontology.

The collection includes fossils of large mammals, mollusks, and plants illustrating the geological history of Tuscany. The museum also boasts skeletons of a mastodon and a large elephant, as well as a cavern lion, a leopard, and a saber-toothed tiger, which lived in the area millions of years ago, when Tuscany was a savannah.

A whole room is dedicated to the horse, an animal that was originally the size of a dog, but which evolved into the creatures we see today over the course of 55 million years.

Tales of a Whale is the last room you see, which seeks to recreate the bottom of the sea and includes the fossil skeleton of a whale that lived three million years ago. The fossil was excavated in 2007 in the hills of Orciano Pisano, in Pisa, and measures ten meters (32.8ft) in length.

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