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The Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes is a zoo in Paris, France, belonging to the botanical garden Jardin des Plantes. It is the first and thus the oldest civil zoological garden in the world. Today it has no very large animals like elephants, but a lot of rare smaller and medium sized mammals and a variety of birds and reptiles, insects.
In the course of the French Revolution the menagerie was founded in 1793. According to a decision of the National Assembly in 1793, exotic animals in private hands were to be donated to the Menagerie in Versailles or killed, stuffed and donated to the natural scientists of the Jardin des Plantes. However, the scientists let the animals (the exact number of which is unknown) live. In due course the Royal Menagerie in Versailles (ménagerie royale) was dissolved and these animals were also transferred to the Jardin des Plantes. Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737–1814) is considered to be the founder of the menagerie. He was committed to the principles of keeping exotic animals in their natural environment, having regard to their needs, placing them under scientific supervision, and allowing public access in the interest of public education.
The Jardin was free for all visitors and tourists right from its inception. While the menagerie at first was just provisional it grew in the first three decades of the 19th century to be the largest exotic animal collection in Europe. The Zoo was under the scientific leadership of the former head of the zoological department at the museum, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772–1844). From 1805 onwards the menagerie was under the leadership of Frédéric Cuvier, who was replaced in 1836 by Geoffroy's son Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.
(from wikipedia)

Microcosmos is a documentary of insect life in meadows and ponds, using incredible close-ups, slow motion, and time-lapse photography. It includes bees collecting nectar, ladybugs eating mites, snails mating, spiders wrapping their catch, a scarab beetle relentlessly pushing its ball of dung uphill, endless lines of caterpillars, an underwater spider creating an air bubble to live in, and a mosquito hatching. (from IMBd)

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Additional Photos by Frederic GODEBOUT (delnaja) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1004 W: 19 N: 165] (2056)
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