Room 2 – Quaternary Room

Room 2: Quaternary Room

The second room, named after the naturalist Aldo Allegranzi, was inaugurated in 2004. It illustrates the period in which we live, the Quaternary, which since 2000 has been declassified as an era and is now considered the period subsequent to the Tertiary in the Cenozoic era. The Quaternary is divided into two main epochs: Pleistocene (from 2 million to 10,000 years ago) and Holocene (from 10,000 years ago to the present day). The period has been subject to intensive cycles of climatic change characterized by cold glacial periods, with the formation of impressive glaciers and consequent marine regression, followed by warm-temperate interglacial phases during which the ice melted. These alternating climate patterns that sometimes lasted tens of thousands of years resulted in continual changes and adaptations in the flora and fauna.

Panels describe and illustrate these events and numerous fossils complete the exhibits.

The glass cases display the remains of a range of animals that lived before the last glaciations and once populated the hills around Monte di Malo: a bear, deer, rhinoceros, bison, monkey, wolf, glutton, wild boar etc. plus numerous micromammal bones. The centre of the room is dedicated to a glass case containing a re-assembled skeleton of an elk with the partial remains of a foetus.

The numbered sections in the room are as follows:

1) Reconstruction of the skeleton of an elk that died giving birth, during the latest (Würm) period of glaciation.

2) Illustration of the Quaternary period (2.6Ma ago –present day).

3) The most recent WÜRM glaciation (115,000-10,000 years age) – glaciers covering the Alps and subsequent formation of the pre-alpine lakes; illustrations of micromammals.

4) Location of the sites in Monte di Malo of finds from glacial periods and illustrations of cold climate animals.

5) Macro- and micromammals in the Quaternary.

6) Glass case showing exhibits from the most recent glaciation: capercaillie, wild boar, bison, rhinoceros and deer.

7) Other Pleistocene finds such as: glutton, cave bear, elk remains.

8) To the left and right of the glass cases hang maps of Italy showing the most recent ice age and the subsequent period of glacial melt.