- This museum started as an office of the natural history department at the Imperial Moscow University in 1791. Almost every one of its artifacts was destroyed during the great 1812 Moscow fire, apart from some corals and molluscs. Between 1898-1901, a building in the centre of Moscow was constructed specially for the museum. The museum has more than four and an half million individual artifacts, 3 million of which are insect samples. Others include mammals, birds, molluscs, and shells. The permanent exhibition presents more than 7,500 of these pieces. The more interesting exhibits are a complete skeleton of a stellar sea cow and a stuffed travelling pigeon - both of these species have been extinct for more than 200 years.
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