A boy looks at a model of a dinosaur at Beijing Museum of Natural History [Photo: sohu.com]
Situated in central Beijing's Chongwen District, the Beijing Museum of Natural History has been a longtime landmark in the Tianqiao area that is famous for folk artists and craftsman. But the museum itself is like a magnet attracting curious people to explore the various creatures inside and their historical development.
Now an exhibition on Charles Darwin and the origin and evolution of human beings is on display free of charge. It features Darwin's original handwritten manuscripts, magnifying glass, and letters to his family.
The exhibition features an intelligible display of the process of evolution, a rich illustration of human characteristics in different stages, and even fragments of the skulls of the Maba people, an ethnic minority in Chad and Sudan.
The exhibition hall is equipped with touch panel computers for visitors to browse more interesting information and pictures.
After seeing the display on human evolution, you may want to learn about the evolution of other species. Is there any relation between wild turkeys and African giant frogs? And the pigeon samples with various types of tails? You will be surprised to learn a great deal from Darwin's theory.
A model of dinosaur on exhibit at Beijing Museum of Natural History [Photo: sohu.com]
Along with refined pictures and animal models and samples, real ones can also be found in the exhibition. How fun it is trying to tell which are real and which are fake in a highly condensed exhibit that covers animal development 3 billion to 4 billion years ago. One thing to notice is that the real species or models are often marked "Touch me please!" to encourage visitors to get more involved in the exhibit.
The last exhibition hall presents information about Darwin. Here you can read recollections of the scientist written by his friends and children. In another area, Darwin's studio is recreated with his experimental gadgets and bottles and the blanket he used.
The exhibition is the first of its kind for Beijingers. It not only commemorates the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, but also the 150th anniversary of the first publication of his seminal work "The Origin of Species." Among the exhibit sponsors are the American Museum of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum, and British Museum of Natural History.
"The Origin and Evolution of Human Beings - Charles Darwin Exhibition" at the Beijing Museum of Natural History
Address: No. 126 Tianqiao South Street, Chongwen District
Opening hours: Daily 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed on Monday.
Admission: Free of charge, but visitors must make an appointment at least three days in advance.
End date: March 28, 2010