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Marine Biological Museum, CAS

Marine Biological Museum of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (MBMCAS) in the Institute of Oceanology, CAS in Qingdao is the largest marine biological museum in China. Founded in 1950, it is now a multi-functional and modern museum, which can serve as depository of marine specimens, as a base for research on the taxonomy, ecology, biosystematics and biodiversity of marine plants and animals and popularization of marine biology.  

The MBMCAS covers an area of 4,920 m2, consisting of four functional areas: storage area, research area, technical area and exhibition area. The storage area is composed of several rooms as  depository of different kinds of specimens; type specimen room, unique (historical) specimen room, dried and formalin immersed macro-algal specimen room, invertebrate specimen room, specimen shell room, fish specimen room and polar specimen room, etc. Supplementary facilities include taxonomical lab, specimen disposal room, reference room, database room and meeting room. 

Founded in 1950, the present museum houses a collection of some 800,000 catalogued marine organism specimens with type specimens amounting to 1,475 type specimens; marine algae, 130,000; marine invertebrates, 500,000, and marine vertebrates (mainly fish), 100,000,  collected from the entire China Seas, and also specimens obtained through exchange with 54 countries and regions including Antarctic and Arctic areas. The earliest collection dates back to 1889 when several thousands of specimens were brought back from the Institute of Zoology of the then National Peking Institution and Jingsheng Biological Institute.  Specimen collections were carried out from different habitats: seashore, intertidal zones, water column to thousands of meters depth on the sea bottom; from benthic, demersal to pelagic realms, which well reflect the rich biological resources and high biodiversity of the China seas. As a result of great changes of marine ecological environment, some specimens fall into the rare category as they can not be collected again even in the same location and season.  

Many well-known taxonomists,such as the late Prof. Zhang Xi, the late Prof. Chengkui Zeng (C. K. Tseng), as well as members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ruiyu Liu (J. Y. Liu), and Shouyi Zheng affiliated with the museum since the early 1950s, contributed much to the progress of IOCAS, MBMCAS to the research and teaching base and center of marine faunal study, biogeography and biodiversity. Experts have availed themselves of the rich collections of the museum to work on their respective fields. As of 2008 more than 1,500 papers, more than 120 monographs dealing with their research specialities including morphology, taxonomy, faunistic studies, phylogeny, biodiversity, biogeography, ecology, biological oceanography,were published. These works have provided important basic academic data useful for subsequent oceanographic investigations, formulation of Chinese territorial maritime laws and regulations for the protection and sustainable development of marine resources, contributing much to the advancement of marine science and technology as well as bringing up lots of senior researchers from home and abroad on taxonomy and faunal research. Their outstanding achievements won 33 awards above provincial and ministerial level. As a platform for exchanging knowledge and cooperative research, the museum has been opening to researchers on marine biology and receiving dozens of taxonomists from home and abroad every year. 

With the set up of network information system and the adoption of techniques of bar code and classified code, the museum has a specimen digital management system. Up to now, over 60% specimens has been digitally integrated and many professional database have been finished, including Chinese inshore marine organism information database, type materials database, marine algae database, invertebrate database, marine fish database and polar specimens database which are available through network service for people from home and abroad.  

Furthermore, MBMCAS also has a science popularization area of 800 m2, consisting of six parts (Marine Plants, Marine Protozoa, Marine Invertebrate, Marine Vertebrate, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation) providing a high starting point, omni-directional service to display systematically a colorful marine biology world for the public. Together with multi-media equipments, projection room, marine ecology simulation site and an oceanarium with an area of 300 m3 is manifested for the public to have a share of the vivid beauty of marine life. This museum each year receiving thousands of people, including students and visitors from here and abroad, is becoming an important national science popularization and education base for marine biology. 

MBMCAS aims to forge ahead to realize greater scientific achievements, to play a more important role in providing full technical, consultative and science popularization services for the public. 

Marine Biological Museum, CAS 

Add7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, China 

Tel +86 532 82898901 / +86 532 82898911 / +86 532 82898782