The Museu de História Natural de Maputo is a natural history housed in a beautiful Portuguese building in the rococo style. Its main displays are animals of prey such as lions and leopards, frequently displayed in gruesome scenes attacking antelopes and steenbucks. It was founded in 1911 and constructed in 1933 by the City Council in a style inspired by the Manueline style. It is, without doubt, one of the most visited places in the city by nationals and foreigners. It began as a provincial museum, then as Dr Álvaro de Castro Museum, and finally renamed the Natural History Museum. The main collection is the zoo, which includes birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, and fish.
The African Art collections on display are among the most exclusive in the world, including an exhibition of foetuses representing the development of an elephant from 1 to 22 months, and a fish that is considered a living fossil or coelacanth. The ethnographic collection contains around 500 objects relating to various human activities, such as dance, sculpture, music, silverwork, ceramics, basketry, and war. The collection also includes photographs of faces representing different ethnic groups in Mozambique.
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