Building the exhibition Evolution

Animals, plants, fungi… All life is interconnected. Because all life, past and present, is related through evolution: the process by which species emerge and adapt. This gallery makes it clear in a special way that we are connected to the origin of life and are related to all life around us.

Visit Naturalis

Experience the beauty and richness of the natural world at Naturalis in Leiden. Go exploring with the entire family in all our exhibition halls.


We are

Everything is connected

Evolution is the invisible force behind all life. In this exhibition we make the invisible visible. When touching a 3.7 billion year old rock, a light and sound system is activated. In that moment you're connected to this stone that is almost as old as life itself. You are in contact with single-celled organisms that formed the basis of all life on earth: a magical moment.

Visitor in the exhibition Evolution
Bezoekers in zaal Evolutie

The idea
behind Evolution

Evolution may seem complicated, it's actually a simple process. In this exhibition we explain evolutionary steps that were important for the emergence of the enormous diversity around us - from simple cell to complex cell, the emergence of multicellularity and photosynthesis. Special fossils tell a special story.

The highlight
of Evolution

Collection comes to life

An aquarium in Naturalis... Incredible, isn't it!? They look lifelike, but the animals you see here are about 530 million years old. They lived in a period known as the Cambrian Explosion. A period in the history of life that lasted millions of years and in which an enormous diversity of species became visible.

Pepper's ghost zaal Evolutie met bezoeker