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Shape

 

The variety of forms that appear in the natural world is seemingly inexhaustible — mussels, whose shells are delicately laid in folds or formed in massive cubes, snails that decorate their shells with the shells of other snails, crabs with specialized legs for swimming, others with impressively powerful “scissors". There are starfish that look like flowers and sea urchins whose quills appear so fragile we forget how dangerous they are. The variety of skull shapes and sizes, from the giant elephant to the smallest of bats, illustrates how natural form always develops in service of the organism as a whole. Whether aquatic or terrestrial, every animal and every plant bears evidence of the process of adaptation through evolution, nature’s continual response to the challenges of life in a perpetually changing environment. The bounty of specimens displayed in this exhibit demonstrates the basic principles of the origins of form in nature. The variety of fruits and seeds show how humans have made use of Nature`s ability to shape. Through all the specimens` dazzling qualities, the exhibition promotes Nature`s intrinsic value. Furthermore, natural shapes have inspired humans` works of art for centuries. As Biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834—1919) once described the formal symmetry of the natural world, here you will see the “artistry of nature.”