Permanent exhibition

Coral reef

The Senckenberg Natural History Museum Frankfurt opens the new theme room “Coral Reef” as part of the remodeling project New Museum

Coral reefs are, besides the tropical rainforests, the ecosystems with the greatest biodiversity and productivity worldwide. While they cover only about 0.2 percent of the ocean floor, they harbor a third of the marine fauna. The diversity of its fascinating, brilliantly colored organisms can be experienced in the new coral reef exhibition. In a 6 meters long and 2.50 meters high coral reef installation, visitors can discover more than 1,000 objects: from porcupinefish to dancing feather stars to a hunting school of whitetip reef sharks.

Over the course of three years, a team of three taxidermists were developing the diorama of an indo-pacific coral reef in close cooperation with Senckenberg scientists. With their work, they pursue two aims: a lifelike rendering of the diverse organisms, and the conveying of stories and interactions. The models show the reef dwellers in action – for example, a sea turtle in a cleaning station, or an octopus foraging for food. The reef can be experienced by day and by night. One section is also devoted to the existential threat posed to this precious ecosystem by climate change and other human influences.


The new rooms are built as part of our “Project Senckenberg – New Museum”. The Natural History Museum in Frankfurt is to be modernized and expanded in a modular fashion during the coming years. Four new sections are being developed: Human, Earth, Cosmos, and Future. These sectionswill take visitors on excursions to the beginnings of humanity, the most exciting places on the globe and through the endless expanse of the universe, and they address questions about the future development of our planet. The Natural History Museum is going to present and impart research and science in comprehensible and up-to-date ways.

Prior to the opening of the theme room “Coral Reef”, the new exhibition rooms “Deep Sea”  and “Marine Research” open in March 2020. They are located on the 2nd floor of the Natural History Museum, which is going to be dedicated to the earth’s habitats. Here, a round tour is being developed, following an altitudinal gradient that starts at the deep sea and ends in he high mountains.


We thank our supporters who made the exhibition “Coral Reef” possible: Erika and Walter Datz-Stiftung
Okeanos Stiftung für das Meer
Mitglieder der Senckenberg Gesellschaft
Jürgen R. and Eva-Maria Mann Stiftung
and other private individuals and foundations

Science Partners

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen dedicates its research and teaching to a better understanding of tropical coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, estuaries and upwelling areas. The focus is on questions about their structure and function, their resources, and their resilience to human intervention and natural change. With its work, the institute creates a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of these habitats. The ZMT conducts its research projects in close cooperation with partners in the tropics, where it supports the development of expertise and infrastructure in the field of sustainable coastal zone management. The ZMT is a member of the Leibniz Association.

Cooperation partner

Trier University of Applied Sciences stands for high-performance and application-oriented research that opens up a broad spectrum of study opportunities. In the further development of teaching methods, Trier University of Applied Sciences focuses on innovation and practical relevance. Furthermore, project- and team-oriented learning promote the social competence of the students. Research and development at Trier University of Applied Sciences address current problems in society. The Intermedia Design program at the Department of Design offers a comprehensive study of digital media with a high level of practical relevance.