This charming hall with its beautiful murals is protected patrimony. Almost nothing has changed here since the museum opened in 1910. The hall is in fact dedicated to fish, reptiles and amphibians, but is usually called the ‘Crocodile hall’ because of the dominant central display case with Nile crocodiles.
In 1938, the scientific world was briefly shaken up when a fishing boat fished up a coelacanth on the east coast of Southern Africa. It was a sensational catch: scientists thought this huge deep sea fish had become extinct over 60 million years ago.
A well prepared and preserved coelacanth is rare. The one in the museum was transported from the Comoros in 1981. Since then, the ‘living fossil’ has been preserved in spirits. The fish is now drab. When alive, it has a blue-black colour with a specific pattern of white-purple spots.