The two upper floors of the Museums are devoted to Mammals. The first floor houses the Mammal Gallery and the Archaeoceti room, while the second floor houses the Cetacean Gallery.
The Mammal Gallery, organized according to a systematic criterion, houses specimens both of the Museum’s historical collection and of recent acquisitions, mainly the Barbero collection.
With almost 300 specimens exposed, the exhibition aims to represent the huge biodiversity of the mammalians of the world and to sensitize to the safety of natural environments and the preservation of the species in the wild, often threatened by the man. To every specimen is in fact associated a tag reporting the conservation status of each species in the wild, pointing out if the animal is endangered.
The first room is devoted mainly to monotremes, marsupials and carnivorans.
The route starts with the mammalians with the most primitive features: the monotremes (platypus and echidna), which lives in Australia and New Guinea and are the only ones to have a beak and to lay eggs; the marsupials, characterized, apart few exceptions, by the presence of a skin pouch where the younglings complete their development; the xenarthrans (sloth, ant eater, armadillo, the latter characterized by the typical articulate shell) and the pholidota, which are the pangolins, living in Africa and Asia and represented by only eight living species.
Among the marsupials, you can see some of the most famous Australian species such as the giant kangaroo, the koala and the wombat, in addiction to some American species such as the Virginia opossum. Also, some endangered species such as the numbat and the great bilby are on exhibition.
A significant area of the exhibition is devoted to the order of the Carnivora, especially the felids, with several species among which the lion, the tiger, the jaguar, the cheetah, the puma, several species of lynxes, and small-size felids such as the margay, the ocelot and the sand cat. In addiction to the felids, in the carnivorans devoted area there are also bears, hyenas, sea carnivorans (eared seal and seal), canids (among which the African wild dog and the coyote) and small size carnivorans such as the badger, the common genet, the marten and the skunk.
The second great room is devoted to ungulates and represents the crown jewel of the exhibition for the large amount and the variety of the species exposed. Mammalians, which put their weight on the point of the fingers, and have their nails turned into hoofs are named ungulates. They are divided in artiodactyls, even-toed ungulates that put their weight on the third and the fourth finger, and perissodactyls, odd-toed ungulates (at least in the posterior limbs) which put their weight on the third finger.
Among the artiodactyls are largely represented the bovids, among which the eland, the greatest living antelope, and several other species of antelopes and gazelle, aside with bisons and buffaloes; and the cervids, among which some endangered species such as the sambar and the reindeer, or even extinct in the wild such as the Père David’s deer. Are also included the hyppo, the Java mouse-deer, the pronghorn, the Siberian musk deer, the lama guanicoe and some suids such as the deer-pig and the warthog.
Perissodactyls are represented by two zebra specimens, the Cape mountain zebra and the Grant’s zebra, the tapir and two rhinos, a male white rhino and a black rhino.
The third room is entirely dedicated to primates.
The first part of the exhibition provides a complete idea of the systematics of this group, the biodiversity of primates in the world and the conservation status of species in nature. Inside the showcases, you can see some particularly rare and critically endangered species such as the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), the northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus), the brown howler (Alouatta guariba), the celebes crested macaque (Macaca nigra) and the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus).
The second part of the set-up includes five large dioramas with the reconstruction of the natural environments where primates live: the South American forest, the African forest and savannah areas, the Madagascar spiny forests where the famous ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) lives, the environment of South West India and finally the forests of Borneo, seriously threatened by man-made deforestation.