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.
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