View of the exhibition space

Permanent exhibition

Coral reef

On 16, July 2021, 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 0.1 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 3,000 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 is developing the diorama of an indo-pacific coral reef in close cooperation with scientists of the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research and 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.

Links ein langarmiger Federstern (Dichrometra flagellata)

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” opened in September 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 this exhibition possible: Erika und Walter Datz-Stiftung
Okeanos Stiftung für das Meer
Senckenberg Members
Jürgen R. und Eva-Maria Mann Stiftung
and further private donators and foundations
Aktionsplan Leibniz Forschungsmuseen

Scientific Partner:

In research and education, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen is dedicated to the better understanding of tropical coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, sea grasses, coral reefs, estuaries and upwelling systems. As an interdisciplinary Leibniz institute, the ZMT conducts research on the structure and functioning of tropical coastal ecosystems and their reaction to natural changes and human interactions. It aims to provide a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of these ecosystems. ZMT works in close cooperation with partners in the tropics, where it supports capacity building and the development of infrastructures in the area of sustainable coastal zone management. ZMT is a member of the Leibniz Association.

Cooperation Partner

Trier University of Applied Sciences is committed to high-performance and application-
oriented research. Trier University of Applied Sciences relies on innovation and practice
orientation in the development of its teaching methods. Furthermore, the students’ social
competences are promoted by project and team oriented study methods. Research and
development address current issues 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.