Museum of Natural History
- cnr Sükhbaataryn Gudamj & Sambugiin Örgön Chölöö Central Ulaanbaatar
- tel, info: 011 321 716
- adult/student Tug2500/Tug1000, photos Tug5000, video Tug10,000, photos of dinosaur skeletons extra Tug5000
- 10:00-17:30, closed Mon & Tue mid-Sep-mid-May
Lonely Planet review for Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is a serious throwback to the Soviet era. It has exhibits featuring Mongolia's geography, flora and fauna, including the requisite section with stuffed and embalmed animals, birds and even fish. The general impression, however, is that you've stumbled into the warehouse of a long-deceased taxidermist, rather than into a serious scientific exhibition. Some of the animals have been fixed with puzzling expressions, as if they remain perplexed as to how they ended up in such an unfortunate state. In any case, budding geologists may appreciate the generally stoic meteorites.
The most impressive section is the Palaeontology Hall and its array of complete dinosaur skeletons, including a 3m-tall, 5-tonne, flesh-eating tarbosaurus. For a bird's-eye view, clamber up the stairs outside the hall to a gallery on the 3rd floor.
The gallery next door to the hall is full of interesting knick-knacks such as petrified wood, dinosaur eggs and some huge leg bones, which look like something out of the Flintstones. Look out for the world-famous 'fighting dinosaurs', a velociraptor and protoceratops that were buried alive (probably when a sand dune collapsed on top of them) in the midst of mortal combat, some 80 million years ago.