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Archive: Special Exhibition

Feather ribbon made of different coloured feathers

Besides many exciting permanent exhibitions, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin presents an average of two to three large special exhibitions per year. Those deal with current scientific and socially relevant issues.

Take a peek into our archive for special exhibitions. Enjoy!

Parasites - Life Undercover

July 7th 2020 – January 23rd 2022

The international touring exhibition offers a diverse insight into the world of parasites. It was on display in Berlin during the Coronavirus pandemic and, more topical than ever, allowed researchers such as the well-known virologist Christian Drosten to have their say. In this way, it brought together objects from the past, such as the skull of T. rex Tristan, with research findings and questions of the present.

More information can be found here.

Tristan - Berlin Bares Teeth

December 17th 2015 – January 26th 2020

Tristan Otto is a deep black skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex, about 65 million years old. It was found in 2010 in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, USA and is one of the best preserved T. rex skeletons worldwide. Tristan Otto was on display for four years in the exhibition "Tristan - Berlin Bares Teeth".

More information can be found here.

MOON WALK – 50 Years Moon Landing

July 20th 2019 - October 11th 2019

On July 20th 2019, half a century ago, Neil Armstrong was the first man who walked on the moon. Until today the moon is an important component within the research to the emergence of the earth. Therefore scientists at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin are analysing meteorites, observing craters on planetary surfaces and creating computer simulations. On this occasion, the Museum für Naturkunde showed a real moon sample collected on NASA's last manned lunar mission.

More information can be found here.


October 9th 2018 - October 20th 2019

The artist J Henry Fair takes a bird‘s-eye view of occulted industrial areas, toxic waste deposits and coal mining and documents the sometimes catastrophic effects of human activity on nature through large-format, aesthetic and highly sophisticated images. Together with scientists from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission the exhibition identifies the challenges behind the images and illustrates how science and politics work together to find solutions.

More information can be found here.


May 17th - September 08th 2019

Within the framework of the Contagious Cities project developed by the Wellcome Trust, KOEXISTENZ would like to initiate a new debate on the relationships between humans, animals and viruses together with artists, scientists and citizens.

More information can be found here.


May 23rd 2017 - November 14th 2018

The exhibition catches the eye of the beholder with spectacular exhibits and an unusual setup, bringing a taste of South America to Berlin. It will also make visitors stop and think: How is our steak on the grill linked to chance of the survival of macaws? 

More information can be found here.


June 1st 2017 - April 29th 2018

On June 2nd 2017, the legendary nature broadcaster Heinz Sielmann would have turned 100. The Museum and the Heinz Sielmann Foundation celebrate the occasion with a new special exhibition focusing on our native wildlife – including lynx and wisent, squirrel and beaver.  

More information can be found here.

Comets – The Rosetta Mission

August 19th 2016 - January 21st 2017

The Rosetta space mission reached the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet at the end of a ten-year journey. It was able to deliver new insights into this very little researched celestial body – for instance the role comets might have played with regard to the origins of life on Earth.  

More information can be found here.

Art/Nature Interventions Round II

July 19th - October 16th 2016

This was the second sequel to the Art/Nature Intervention round where various works of art expressed highly individual perspectives of artists on the history of the Museum für Naturkunde.

More information can be found here.


February 9th - June 12th 2016

For a long time, the only known find of a spinosaurus was the specimen exhibited in a museum in Munich, where it proved to be a real crowd-puller. As it was destroyed in the Second World War, very little research had been done on this giant predatory therapod, and it was only in 2009, after some detective work, that scientists were able to track down the bones and teeth of another spinosaurus. Based on these finds, they were able to reconstruct a skeleton that was shown in the Spinosaurus touring exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde alongside the Museum’s own original fossils.

More information can be found here.

Dead Wasps fly further

March 3rd - May 3rd 2015

Wasps will go to great lengths for science even after their death, travelling hundreds of kilometres from one research institute to another. This exhibition follows the adventurous journey of three such travellers, with a digger wasp from Thailand at the centre.

More information can be found here.


January 13th - August 2nd 2015

When Yan Yan, the popular female panda in the Berlin Zoo, suddenly died in 2007, her body was brought to the Museum für Naturkunde for taxidermy. She went on display in a special exhibition, together with her erstwhile partner Bao Bao. Visitors also learned many interesting facts and stories surrounding pandas and how they became popular as advertising icons.

More information can be found here.


August 16th 2014 - January 15th 2015

Mostly just perceived as a nuisance – some of them even suck blood – flies do not enjoy a high reputation. However, they often play a useful ecological role and can even help to resolve criminal cases – just to mention two of the positive aspects the special exhibition focused on.

More information can be found here.

Developments – 60 Years Discovery of the Structure of DNA

April 23rd 2013 - January 6th 2014

This special exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA gave an overview of its history and the diverse research areas it gave rise to – such as genetic fingerprinting and cloning.

More information can be found here.

Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe

March 30th - August 31st 2012

In what is now Saxony-Anhalt, archaeologists found remains of elephants that were approximately 200,000 years old and were even bigger than mammoths. These ancient elephants were the focus of a special exhibition on 800 square metres which also gave an insight into the fauna and flora of the period.

More information can be found here.

Feathered Flight - 150 Years of Archaeopteryx

25th September - 31st December 2012 & 17th June - 31st December 2011

The primeval bird Archaeopteryx got its name from a feather that gave the first clue of its existence. The best-preserved specimen of an Archaeopteryx ever found is part of the Museum’s collection and its most valuable exhibit. This special exhibition gave a thorough introduction to the species and the many other specimens found to date.

More information can be found here.

Biopolis – Wild Berlin

November 8th 2011 - July 31st 2012

This special exhibition showed photographs of wild animals living in the capital – demonstrating biodiversity in a metropolis.

More information can be found here.

Class, Order, Species - 200 Years of Museum für Naturkunde

September 14th 2010 - May 1st 2011

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Museum für Naturkunde, its collection containing approximately 30 million items was searched for treasures, many of which were shown to the public for the first time. A plethora of exhibits, pictures and documents gave an insight into the Museum’s history over the past 200 years and shed new light on the basic categories class, order and species.

More information can be found here.

The Deep Sea

15th September 2009 - 31st Januar 2010

The deeper the water, the darker and more mysterious it becomes. The deep sea still holds many secrets, including its inhabitants. The touring exhibition displayed some of the few original taxidermies, such as a deep-sea angler fish. Another topic of the exhibition was pollution and waste threatening life on the sea bed and in the oceans.

More information can be found here.

Darwin’s Journey towards Insight

February 12th - August 12th 2009

To celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, this special exhibition focused on the life of the famous naturalist and in particular on his voyage on the Beagle. Many original items such as diaries or specimens and samples that are still relevant in today’s research were displayed.

More information can be found here.