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Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai Natural Museum

Shanghai Natural Museum

The Shanghai Natural History Museum is a museum dedicated to natural history. It is one of the largest museums of natural sciences in China.

The museum is located since 1956 in what was once a beautiful classical British structure from 1923 that used to be the Cotton Exchange in colonial days. The building is, however, in dire need of basic maintenance and upgrade, since its paint is crumbling and some exhibits are at risk of disintegration. The mosaic floors and stained glass windows in the lobby only hint at the grand building that once was. Since 2008 it is disgraced by the Yan'an Elevated Road which is being constructed within centimeters in front of the building.

Exhibits

The museum has a collection of 240,000 samples, including over 62,000 pieces of animal specimens, 135,000 plant specimens, 700 specimens of the Stone Age, and 1,700 specimens of minerals. There are also rare species which cannot be found elsewhere outside China, such as a Yellow River mammoth, a giant salamander, a giant panda, and an alligator from the Yangtze River.

Shanghai Natural Museum

Shanghai Natural Museum

The largest exhibit is a 140-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton of Mamenuchisaurus hochangensis Young et Zhao from Sichuan Province, which is over four stories high. The museum also has two mummies and several human embryos. All the displays have not been changed for many years, and many signs are in Chinese only. The sections on human evolution and primitive civilizations are quite dated and include old racial stereotypes. However, there is a sign that acknowledges and apologizes for any errors which may be the result of "time, ability, and financial capacity".

Address:The museum is located at 260 Yan'an Dong Lu in Huangpu at Henan Nan Lu (metro: Henan Zhong Lu). It is currently open Tues-Sun 9am-5pm (last ticket sold 3:30pm). Admission is 5 RMB.