The Zoological Museum is situated down stairs of the Faculty of Biology building. The plans of the construction are identical to the ones of the Institute of Zoology from Naples, and were built around 1912. Made in 1859, as a department of the museum, the Zoological Museum of the University of Cluj, has gradually increased its collections, counting now over 200.000 pieces. A special role had the Cross-African Romanian Expedition in 1971, at which took part also researchers from Cluj. The result of this expedition was the increased number of animal species with enriched the dioramas that presents the animals in their own environment.
The museum contains several scientific animal collections (Biltz malacological collections; Frantzenau lepidoptera collection; Radu isopoda collection). Judging by the scientific value and the number of species detained, the museum is situated on the second place, after "Gr. Antipa" Museum from Bucharest. The museum is organized in three areas: the main exhibition, which includes a large number of vertebrates, exposed isolated or in dioramas and microdioramas that look similar to their natural habitat; scientific collections, that contain over 300,000 animal exemplars (the majority being insects) and which are accessible only to specialists; and the museums reserve, used for completing the exhibition and exposed only temporary. The main exhibition is the one from the museum, accessible to the public and to biology students, and occupies almost all the space.
The exhibits are presented in more forms of conservation: stuffed, dried, put in conserving liquids, and skeletons. Exposed examples are arranged in philogenetical order to reflect the evolution of the animal reign but also in dioramas, thus showing the interrelationships between species that form the animal world.
Besides local species, a large part represents exotic fauna, like, for example, the coral collection, pearl shells (Meleagrina margaritifera), the African scorpion (Pandinus imperator), the migrating Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexipus), a large variety of sea stars, Dipnoi fish, the electric African fish (Malapterurus electricus); Saint Peter's hand fish (Zeus faber mauritanicus), the surucucu snake (Lachesis atrox), a sea snake specie (Pelamis bicolor), collared bustard (Chlamydotis undulata), the desert hen (Sierraptes paradoxus), the paradise bird (Paradisea apoda), the toucan (Ramphastos toco), the kangaroos (Protemnodon rufogrissea), the racoon (Procyon lotor), the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), the mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), big cats (Felis leo, Felis tigris, Panthera onça) and many others.
Also animals representing endemically rarities are exposed, extinct species, or endemics as nautilus (Nautilus sp.), primary era relic, which can be found only in the Pacific Ocean, (Lymulus polyphemus), the only present form of the long lost groups of trilobites, a fish called asprete (Romanychtis valsanicola), that is found only in the waters of Vâlsan river and some of its streams, tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), that lives in New Zeeland, and is related with the prehistoric reptiles, the kiwi bird (Apterix oeweni), also from New Zeeland, the fan-pigeon (Goura victoria), bearded eagle and the bald eagle (Aegypius monachus), both species being extinct from our country’s fauna, the platypus (Ornithorhychus anatinus) and the echidna (Zaglosus brujnei) from Australia. The behavioural aspects of animal life are revealed in more ways. For example in thematic insectariums are shown the size variations of butterflies through out the rain and the dry seasons, aspects of mimetic and protective coloration at butterflies and maggots and also stages in the development process of the silkworm (Bombix mori).
The diorama that shows the life of reed birds and their types of nests and also the diorama with the fauna of the Bărăgan plain, builds a suggestive informational zone. The same goes to the fly birds that capture attention by the change of colours when moving in the light and changing diet. A distinctive interest is also for the kangaroo diorama (Oriolus oriolus). In here being well presented the sexual different coloration as well as the way of choosing the spot were the nest is to be built. A great diorama is one in which the fight for existence during the winter period is presented in a forest, which is in the same time on a very well documented location. As for the scientific collections, they are deposited in a specially designed room for representing the results of a life-times work of some researchers part of them being former professors or students of the university. There are also some thematic collections exposed in the halls of the museum. But part of these collections does not have scientific documentation anymore due to the fact that two World Wars have passed over the museum.
A simple reminder of the most important would be appropriate.