Russia possesses only one dodo skeleton and one stuffed flightless razorbill-both extinct species. They are preserved at Moscow's Darwin Museum. It has them on display now together with other rarities from its depository in a show timed to its 95th establishment anniversary, due October.
Notable among the exhibits are a collection of stuffed colibris, with their glowing colours; the world's biggest egg of the moa, another extinct bird, found in Madagascar; and a precious edition of John James Audubon's "The Birds of America". Of no smaller interest is a collection of stuffed animals of anomalous colouring.
One of Russia's longest-established museums, the Darwin appeared as the world's first to illustrate flora and fauna evolution. It presently possesses an approximate 400,000 exhibits, collected within the lifetime of several generations. "They are unique and sensational. Some arouse our admiration, others alarm us, and make us think hard," enthusiastic museum experts said to Novosti.
The Darwin Museum has never before displayed so many of its rarities at once. The show it is offering now is of an unprecedented scope and variety.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969