Dichrometra flagellata

Permanent exhibition

Coral reef

Opening in winter 2020


By the end of 2020, 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 is 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.

Anna Frenkel u Modell Octopus cyanea
Anna Frenkel and the model of Octopus cyanea.

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 spring 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.