The Natural History Museum of Crete is located near the port of Heraklion, at Sofokli Venizelou street, and it is dedicated to the natural environment. The museum was established in 1980 under the aegis of the University of Crete.
It is divided into five sections: Zoological, Botanical, Anthropological, Paleontological-Geological, and Mineralogical. Since its foundation, the museum tries hard to enrich and expand its collections and to organize exhibitions and educational programs for its visitors. In fact, apart from normal collections of the flora and fauna of Crete, the museum hosts some very special exhibitions.
Particularly impressive is the Deinotherium Giganteum, whose skeleton was found in a region close to Sitia Crete and which is considered as one of the biggest animals of its kind. When the animal was found, it had all its teeth, many bones and the biggest tusk ever found, 1.5 m long. Presently a group of Greek and Dutch scientists is working to present this animal in its normal dimensions, that reach 4.5 m. in height and 6.5 m. in longitude. Visitors can actually see these scientists working this gigantic exhibition.
Another special thing about this museum is its interactive Seismic Table, an earthquake simulator that offers visitors the chance to experience real earthquake situations in a perfectly safe environment. Earthquakes can be up to 6 Richter strong. After this experience, visitors are informed on practices and measures to take in case they experience an earthquake in real life.
Other exhibition halls in this museum include the Stavros Niarchos Discovery Centre, that addresses to children up to 15 years old, the Dioramas and other collections with fossils. Frequently the museum organizes educational programs for children and university students. In this museum, visitors come close to the natural resources of Crete and the entire geological past through realistic demonstrations.
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