Steps in Evolution
Discover the theory of evolution through the development of simple organisms into complex fish, amphibians and reptiles. Exhibition currently closed.
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Many millions of years ago, animals evolved with a nerve chord, which runs along their length and carries instructions from their brains to the nerves driving the muscles in the rest of their bodies. In most cases this nerve chord runs inside the protective tube formed by the spine, which is made up of bones called vertebrae.
All animals in this grouping are known as chordates; the majority with bony skeletons are known as vertebrates. The second-floor balcony of the Museum houses a range of chordates, laid out in evolutionary sequence from the most primitive to the more complex.
Early evolutionary steps are explained by models of these two simple and primitive chordates. Exhibition currently closed.
Fish form the main series of animals along the south side of the lower balcony. Exhibition currently closed.
The first balcony level is home to snakes, turtles, frogs, newts and crocodiles. Exhibition currently closed.