The Hall of Biodiversity presents a vivid portrait of the beauty and abundance of life on Earth, highlighting both biodiversity and the factors that threaten it.
Ecological biodiversity is illustrated by a 2,500-square-foot walk-through diorama that depicts part of the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest, one of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems. Featuring more than 160 species of flora and fauna, the diorama uses video and sound to re-create the ecosystem at dawn, at an elephant clearing, and degraded by human intervention along a road.
The hall’s Spectrum of Life exhibit showcases the diversity of life resulting from 3.5 billion years of evolution. More than 1,500 specimens and models, from microorganisms to terrestrial and aquatic giants, are organized into 28 groups along the 100-foot-long installation.
Underscoring threats to biodiversity, a timeline of the five previous mass extinctions includes examples of species lost. A nearby display case features examples of extinct and threatened species, including the long-extinct Dodo bird and the threatened Siberian tiger. A multi-screen video installation provides a tour of nine ecosystems and explores perils to preservation, and a regularly updated BioBulletin video features the latest in biodiversity research.