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The Biomuseo’s permanent exhibition is titled Panama: Bridge of Life. Eight galleries and eight "devices of wonder" tell us about the origin of the Panamanian isthmus and its gigantic impact on the planet’s biodiversity. These galleries were conceived by Canadian designer Bruce Mau, founder of the Institute Without Boundaries.
Gallery of Biodiversity
There is an incredible abundance and variety of life on Earth. A ramp will welcome the visitor to the world of natural science and to the explosion of life in Panama. Aside from introducing the subject of biodiversity, this gallery offers a view of the current health of our environment. The visitor is greeted with a huge multicolored stained glass, fourteen meters long and eight meters high.
We live surrounded by an incredibly vast amount of living beings and communities. A projection space with three different heights and ten screens will plunge the visitor into an audiovisual rendering of Panama’s natural wonders and ecosystems.
Building the Bridge
Panama is a living bridge that emerged from the sea three million years ago. This gallery illustrates and explains the creation and emergence of the isthmus, and how this event changed the Earth’s climate, influencing all living species. The tectonic forces inside the Earth that formed the isthmus are represented by three fourteen-feet high rock formations in a space full of tactile and physical encounters with the geological world.
The closure of the isthmus of Panama generated a great exchange of species between North and South America, two land masses that had been separated for 70 million years. The visitor is received by two animal stampedes representing the megafauna that began this unique journey almost three million years ago.
The Human Path
Human beings are an integral part of nature. In a partially open-air space, sixteen columns provide information on the relations between human activity and nature in Panama 15,000 years ago — the estimated date when the first settlers arrived to the isthmus — to the present.
When Panama emerged, two very different oceans were formed, changing life all over the Earth. Two 10-meter high, semi-cylindrical aquariums will show how the Pacific and the Caribbean evolved in drastically different ways after being separated by the creation of the isthmus.
The Living Web
To demonstrate how living things need and compete with each other in complex and often invisible ways, a huge sculpture— equal parts plant, animal, insect, and microorganism — will immerse the visitor in a dimension where all living things are just as important.
Panama is the Museum
The biggest wonders await the visitor outside the museum. Panels and displays show the relations between Panama's biodiversity and the world, and offer access to a virtual network linking the museum with the rest of the country.