This museum located at the end of Vasilievsky Island was created in 1832 from the ”Kunstkamera” (curiosity chamber) division. Today, it belongs to the Institute of Geology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Its 6,000 sq-m of exhibition dedicated entirely to animal kingdom. It opens on the 27 meters-long skeleton of a blue whale. Its collection gathers thirty thousand items. Among the most popular are the mammoths including Dima. This small prehistorical pachyderm was excavated from the permafrost in 1977 and it is very well preserved. Lisette, Peter the Great's horse as well as his dog, Tiran, are also quite popular.
Specimens of animals who have recently disappeared are also exhibited such as the Tasmanian wolf or the Steller's sea cow. This marine mammal from the arctic water went from a population of about two thousand members in the 18th century it entirely disappeared in 27 years.