The museum’s collections include approximately 50,000 vertebrate samples and about two million invertebrates.Learning more about Finnish fauna and zoology at the Zoological Museum.

SINCE ITS foundation in 1960, the Zoological Museum of the University of Oulu has given visitors an overview on the Finnish fauna and zoology and it has supported the teaching and research functions of the institute's Department of Biology.

The museum, which is part of an international network of natural science museums that function as repositories of knowledge on biodiversity-related issues, offers a view of Finnish nature and animal world. However, because of its geographical position, it puts particular attention on northern issues.

"We welcome all those interested in boreal nature, regardless of the age," says Marko Mutanen, curator at the Zoological Museum of the University of Oulu. "Nature enthusiasts, families with children, kindergartens and schools."

Finnish nature and animal world

The museum's impressive 1,000 m2 public exhibition gallery offers a fresh perspective on Finnish fauna and zoology with a unique display of about 1,300 vertebrates and more than 3,000 invertebrates. A 53 metre-long diorama on the gallery walls provides visitors with information about the geographical position of Finland and its varying natural environments, from the Bay of Finland to the Arctic Ocean.

"Even though the museum concentrates predominantly on boreal fauna, the exhibition presents virtually all the mammals and birds, fishes and other vertebrate, as well as invertebrate, that populate Finland," explains Mutanen. "We have hundreds of thousands of boreal insects, spiders, mammals and birds, as well as eastern taiga species like the flying squirrel, great grey owl and an unusually wide collection of bones of boreal birds."

In addition to leaving visitors completely amazed, the collection of the Zoological Museum of the University of Oulu also serves as a teaching ground. In fact, it represents a rich learning environment for schools and kindergartens, as well as anyone with an interest in nature and animals.

"It's very important that everyone recognises the importance of the living environment and rich biodiversity for the existence of mankind," adds Mutanen. "Zoological museums play an important role in informing people about biodiversity and how nature functions."

Zoological Museum
of the University
of Oulu
University of Oulu
Erkki Koiso-Kanttilan katu
Mon-Fri 08:00-15:45
closed on midweek
Tickets €2-3
free for children
under 7 years

Unique collections

Overall, the collections of the Zoological Museum of the University of Oulu are comprised of approximately 50,000 vertebrate samples and about two million invertebrates.

The museum's vertebrate collection boasts an internationally renowned selection of skulls, bones and skins of northern predatory and small mammals. "At the moment, bones are the central theme of our temporary exhibition Bones Tell," says Mutanen.

Birds and mammals account for over 90% of the collection and are very much present also in the bird egg collection, a section that showcases some 3,000 clutches of birds and eggs. During the first half of the 20th century, collecting eggs was a common form of birding. Nowadays, however, this activity is strictly forbidden.

And for those interested in invertebrates, the museum presents a collection that includes specimens of moth, butterflies and other insects pinned or preserved in liquid.

Tuomas Kokko – HS
Niina Woolley – HT