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Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée

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The Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée is one of my very most favorite museums in the entire world.  I’ve been here once before, but this time I got to see it through H’s eyes and I spent less time photographing and more time quietly talking with H about what we saw.

 

A mosasaur.  These were aquatic lizards who lived in warm, shallow, inland seas about 66 million years ago.

 

When I was a kid, the triceratops were one of my favorite dinosaurs.

 

One of my all time favorite fossils, the dunkleosteus.  This was a top predator when it roamed the early oceans.

 

The whale exhibit is remarkable… with toothed, beaked and baleen whale skeletons represented, you get to see the remarkable diversity of form and function.  And check out that eye! The sclera is massively thick, likely to preserve focus with the massive changes in depth. Oh, how I wish I could get some fresh whale retina somehow.  And look how deeply the optic nerve is embedded within the sclera.  I wonder, do whales get glaucoma?

 

There is also a healthy sampling of the grotesque with fetus skeletons and some malformed teratomas and such. Not as extensive as the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, but interesting nonetheless.

 

There are also some amazing preparations including this phenomenal dissection of the vasculature of a human brain, dated 1927 with the Circle of Willis right at the center.  Anyone who has dissected a human brain should appreciate the technical achievement that such a dissection represents.

 

The top floor is where the dinosaur and megafauna exhibits reside along with a terrifying sample of sarcosuchus, an extinct crocodile that lived 112 million years ago and weighed up to 8 tonnes.

 

 

 

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