In addition to the 3-D Theater, the Global Environment Hall houses four exhibit areas: Microscopic World, Life on Earth, Taiwan's Ecology and the Tibetan Plateau Remote Astronomical Observation Exhibition. Also in this hall are Classroom Theaters which cover themes of: Man and the Environment, and Species Conservation. In 2008, Science on a Sphere (SOS) was introduced. This multimedia exhibition system features a 173cm diameter animated globe that reveals Earth's dynamic changes.
2F Life on Earth
Life on Earth uses seven life-like dioramas to introduce some of the world‘s important ecosystems: Canadian tundra, Manchurian temperate forest, East African savanna, Borneo mangroves, Galapagos coast, Sonoran desert and Costa Rican rainforest.
These dioramas were created using mural backgrounds and lighting effects, in addition to specimens and other props, to produce a replica of each particular environment. In front of each diorama are detailed explanations about the wildlife and touch screens for accessing educational computer programs.
2F Taiwan's Ecology
In Taiwan, there are several climatic zones including the Frigid Zone, Temperate Zone, Subtropical Zone and Tropical Zone, each with unique flora and fauna. Taiwan's Ecology introduces four different and unique ecosystems, all at different elevations in Taiwan, depicted through dioramas and detailed explanations. These four ecosystems include the Dajia River basin, Lianhuachih broad-leaved forest, Anmashan cloud forest and Nanhu Valley.
1F Microscopic World
To the Microscopic World exhibition area have been added models of rarely seen arthropods. A number of touch control interactive games centered around the theme of marine life allow visitors to unravel the mysteries of nature in a fun and engaging way.
Also in this exhibition area are stereomicroscopes, television microscopes and scanning electron microscopes. Microscopes are available for visitors to observe specimens that they have collected. A rest area with comfortable chairs is located between the Microscopic Theater and this exhibition area.
1F Giant Squid
The giant squid display is located on the first floor of the Global Environment Hall. This is the largest vertically presented squid in the world. Creating this display was extremely difficult. With the base, acrylic case and formalin solution, it weighs four tons. This giant squid specimen can be clearly observed from three sides including structures such as ring-like teeth and funnel-like water outlet on its sucking disc.
This species of giant squid (Architeuthis sanctipauli) belongs to Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopoda, Order Teuthida and Family Architeuthidae. It measures 8.84 meters in length and weighs 240 kilograms. It was captured off of the coast of New Zealand and donated to the museum by researchers from the New Zealand National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research.
Its eyes are very developed. Its diet mainly consists of fish and other cephalopods. Members of the same species often fight with and kill one another. The sperm whale is the giant squid’s natural predator. Sperm whales will dive down into giant squid’s habitats to hunt them. Scientists have found numerous remnants of giant squid in the stomachs of sperm whales, confirming that they are a major food source for sperm whales. Not much is known about the life history of giant squid. From December to March they appear off the coast of New Zealand to reproduce. However, from about April they disappear without a trace. Their spawning and other activity areas remain unknown.
B1 Tibetan Plateau Remote Astronomical Observation Exhibition
Astronomical observation requires a clear atmosphere and cloudless night sky. The Tibetan Plateau located at an elevation of more than 5,000 meters provides world-class astronomical observation conditions. However, it is difficult for people used to living in areas of lower elevation to stay there for long periods of time. Through technology and fundamental science, a remote-controlled observatory has been constructed. Using satellite communications and remote observation methods, it is possible to view the environment and conditions on this plateau at NMNS and to control the astronomical observation equipment. Short documentary films are shown on a regular basis to introduce the harsh conditions faced by the team of workers who built the observatory, solar power station and satellite antenna. These films also portray the magnificent landscapes and rich culture of the Tibetan Plateau.