Permanent exposition

The permanent exhibition in downtown

A journey to the heart of life


The Museum's permanent exhibition, distributed throughout several thematic spaces, highlights the wealth and depth of the relationships between Man and Nature. Man from his birth to his future, througth the different stages of his evolution, is thus led to wonder, reflect, until he becomes aware of the contemporary challenges posed to humanity.


Planet Earth

Forces, movements, energies

The visitor is taken on a voyage to discover the intimate mechanisms that govern our planet, the forces of the infinitely small and the beauties of the mineral world. Gravitation and the formation of the planet within the solar system give us a glimpse of the infinitely large.

Here, planet Earth is subject to seismic and volcanic activity, plate tectonics, and erosion. Visitors can get to grips with such phenomena thanks to an earthquake simulation, and by watching as the rocks under their feet are eroded by water.

Tracks and fossils on the surface of the sand are clues with which to unravel a mystery: that of the presence of life. They introduce the next part of the tour devoted to Life.



Diversity, classification, organisation

In order to make sense of the world, Man first named the elements, then classified them. The "Tree of Life" represents the links between living beings, materialized by the magnificently lighted and fully transparent Skeleton Wall installation. The kinship between living beings is astonishing, which just goes to show that biodiversity is a real issue in terms of sustainable development.


Life throughout time

Continuité, rupture, force de vie

"The Stairway of Time" begins 4.6-billion years ago and climbs all the way up to 700-million years ago. The notion of time, evoked here for the first time in the exhibition, gives us an inkling of just how dizzying the notion is.


The history of life is very closely related to that of the planet, with alternating periods of stability and interruption. This is the ongoing evolution of life.


Man's needs

The great functions of life

Food, reproduction, protection, locomotion and communication: such are Man's essential needs. The examples chosen from the plant and animal world show how creative life and Man can be when it comes to sustaining their functions. This takes the visitor to the crossroads between human sciences and natural sciences.



What will life be like in the future?

Awareness and action

From the creation of Earth to the arrival of modern Man, this trail has constantly highlighted the relationship between life, Earth and Man. The last part of the exhibition invites you to project yourself into the future: it shows a snapshot of the state of health of planet Earth based on multimedia techniques and counters.


Data concerning demographic pressures, the management of natural resources or the impact of human activity are constantly updated.

  photos :  ©   Muséum de Toulouse - Géraldine Millo