The Plant Kingdom
Beijing Museum of Natural History opened up PlantKingdom, a large-scale theme exhibition, to the public in July 2007. The exhibition covers more than 800 square meters, consists of three majors themes - the evolution of terrestrial plants, plant functions and the modern plant landscape, and gives an all-round and multi-angle display of the plants’ charm from the prehistoric extinct plant clusters to today's colorful plants, from plants’ micro-structures to the macro plant communities and ecosystems. With the help of sound, light, electricity, and multimedia technologies as well as advanced scientific instruments, the exhibition skillfully integrates the botanical knowledge into the landscapes, animated pictures, scientific experiments and games, achieving the perfect combination of scientific, appreciatory and recreational values and providing the viewers a brilliant platform where they can get familiar with and appreciate the plants. The passage of the evolution of terrestrial plants starts from the origin of terrestrial plants, follows the evolutionary line of terrestrial plants, makes an overall recovery of a number of extinct plant species, shows the ancient landscape of the first terrestrial plants that had just begun to grow on the land, the thriving ferns, the gymnosperms and the early angiosperms, and demonstrates the beautiful wonders of the prehistoric plants. The passage of the modern plant landscape is based on the modern plant communities and ecosystems, adopts the combination of background pictures and foreground plants, realistically reveals the six typical regional plant landscapes, namely the deserts, the prairies, the wetlands, the mountains, the tropical rain forests and mangrove lands, and creates a colorful and modern plant world. The passage on plant functions is a dynamic, vibrant and interesting exhibition area, elaborates on such topics as the plants’ growth, transport systems, photosynthesis, flowering and pollination, seed dissemination, and survival strategies with a combination of models, specimens, texts and pictures, and answers such intriguing scientific questions as how plants as the primary producers in the Earth's ecosystems maintain the orderly functioning of the planet's ecosystems, achieve the consistency between their structures and functions, adapt to their surrounding environments and achieve harmony with the environment.