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path: index > History > Geology and Palaeontology
Geology and Palaeontology
Pesce fossile, Mene rhombea The sections of Palaeontology, Mineralogy and Petrography are still represented today by collections of general thematic interest which are arranged according to past models. Despite this, they offer the visitor a rich and representative collection. The first nucleus of specimens was made up of a small collection of minerals, which was donated by Antonio Marescotti during the mid 18th century while under the direction of Gardini a large quantity of materials were added to the collection thanks to considerable donations. Among these donations was an extensive significant scientific collection of fossils of Monte Mario dating back to the Pleistocene which was given by Angelo Conti, although later, it was divided among various Italian and foreign institutes. Today, there are about 15,000 fossils, mainly molluscs. Gardini supplemented the materials relevant to the earth sciences with acquisitions and exchanges forming an interesting collection of minerals, rocks and fossils that highlighted out their applications to different fields of the economic system. Unfortunately, all the damage, the exchanges and loans which have been inaccurately documented during the course of time, led to the dispersal of many materials which compromised the historical value of the collections. The present collection still includes high quality objects such as the series of plants and fish from Bolca or the aesthetically displayed cases dedicated to fluorescent minerals. In the second post war period, Mario Canella classified the collection according to didactic criteria. He was responsible for the remarkable increase of objects which were very important to the museum such as the moulds of the skeleton of Plesiosaurus (Thaumatosaurus victor), the skull of Tyrannosaur (Tyrannosaurus rex) and the moulds of the skulls of Ominidi fossils. Earth science collections were exhibited to the public, as demonstrated from a didactical point of view. Collections for research are to be constituted in the immediate future thus a keeper with special competence has been working in the museum since 1996.


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