Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Valencia
The Museum of Natural Sciences is located in the old Viveros restaurant, a rationalist building designed by the architect Luis Gay, restored and adapted as a centre for the conservation, study and dissemination of Valencia´s rich scientific and natural heritage. The Museum of Natural Sciences, (located in the Viveros garden), is a highly educational museum where visitors can admire collections of works as important as the ones of Botet, the best collection of South American fossils in the whole of Europe. The museum also organizes temporary exhibitions and series of lectures which are both scientifically rigorous and accessible to everybody.
Divided into several sections, the museum offers a journey through knowledge and natural history. The suggested journey begins with the section dedicated to the contribution of Valencian scientists to the history of science and medicine. This section that has two audiovisual installations – both are available in Spanish, English and Valencian-. A copy of the desk where Ramón y Cajal worked on his neuron theory, and several computers where visitors can access the biographies of Valencian biologists.
The purpose of the section given over to the History of Life is to present the visitor with a journey through the different periods into which the age of the Earth is usually divided. This journey shows how the living begins that live on it have not always been exactly as they are now, but rather, they are the result of more than 4000 million years of evolutionary change. These changes can be seen in the fossils on show, some of which were found different places of world.
The most important paleontological collection of the museum is the legacy of J. Rodrigo Botet, a Valencian engineer who emigrated to America where he carried out his profession. He bequeathed his collection to Valencia City Council at the end of the XIX century. The legacy consists of a magnificent collection of paleontological specimens from South America´s Quaternary with samples representatives of all the mammalian groups that Darwin found in the historical travel of the Beagle, very important to the development of his Evolution Theory. The Science Museum has an outstanding collection of mollusc shells, collected together by Eduardo Roselló Brú and has been the property of the City Council since 1926. This interesting collection owes its widely acknowledge importance to the fact that its specimens are representative of all of the malacological fauna found in the Comunidad Valenciana. It also brings together a significant number of exotic specimens of different origins. The “Travelling Suitcases” of the Museum of Natural Sciences
A small "branch" of the museum can go to any school or educational centres with the help of specialized instructors.
This activity is designed to be a teaching tool and an scientific and environmental help to know the heritage which houses the Museum of Natural Sciences in Valencia. The aim is to involve the users of such activities in the knowledge of natural and scientific heritage of the past and present ecosystems and the preservation of the environment in which they live.
It offers an educational workshop, conducted with real objects and instructive materials designed specifically referring to the age of user profiles (primary, secondary, college, retirees, associations, foreign visitors, etc.). This workshop consists of three teaching units:
-“The invisible world”: with preparations to observe with a binocular animals or parts of these which are not directly visible to the human eye.
-“Bites”: showing the structure and patterns of vertebrate dentition and different chewing mechanisms.
-“The memory of the Earth”: which is to explain with real fossils, that users can manipulate, the processes of fossilization and the different kinds of living fossils that to show the history of life on Earth.