1. Animal communication

Communication systems are extremely diverse in their manifestations, both the species which use them and the organs which allow them to do it. The theme of this space encourages visitors to explore the different aspects of animal communication and thus to gain an insight into their daily lives.

After the first introductory area, three spaces explore the most common types of communication used by animals; sound, tactile and chemical. There is a fourth, less common, category: electrical communication.

So who communicates in the animal world, and why? From dragonflies, whose communication with other members of their species is restricted to seeking a sexual partner and mating, to chimpanzees, who have a full repertoire of group relations - communication is an almost universal ability.

Focus on chemical communication

Placed in a small box under a microscope, "pavement" ants, Lasius niger, go about their business under the watchful eyes of the visitors. You can observe the queen and the workers of the colony, their antenna contact, their trophallactic exchanges (sharing food) and the great care they take of the eggs and the larva.

A bit further on, in glass anthills, Harpegnathos saltator, which are Indian ants, Acromyrmex octospinosus from South America, Cataglyphis cursor, which are French ants, and others, offer visitors an astonishing and varied display of their lifestyle and behaviour.

 

2. School of rats

This area is developing current knowledge of the learning process.
We now know that learning is something which happens in nearly all animal species, to varying degrees. But what aptitude do they have for this? And what do animals learn?

 

 

3. Biology in the service of mankind

From human anatomy to molecular genetics, all the grand themes of human biology are presented in this permanent exhibition.

The human biology exhibition begins with the Man of Glass, a lifesize model of a human being which is transparent so that you can see the precise location of the various organs.

Interactive animated models, medical devices, videos, quiz games on micro computers as well as more traditional display panels, are all available to help visitors learn and improve their knowledge.

Focus: 

  • Medical imaging: this part presents a series of methods which have revolutionised medical diagnoses by allowing doctors to "see the organs through the body" 
  • The heart and blood circulation: a model of a heart as well as an animation representing the flow of circulation and oxygenation of the blood allow visitors to see the different structures and the workings of this extraordinary organ.