Vintage dinosaurs Berlin style

The peerless David Orr has a very nice post up at Love in the times of chasmosaurs on vintage dinosaur art. I read it just before I took the family to the Berlin zoo yesterday. There, they have some palaeoart, too, on the walls of the Aquarium Berlin (German wikipedia; en site has barely any info), which is situated “on the fence”, so to speak, of the zoo. The purpose-built building was covered on the outside with lots of depictions (bas-relief and mosaics) of extinct life. Much of that was destroyed in WWII, but reconstructed during renovations. You can get a view of the street-side front at the German wikipedia page (direct link to image here), but not of the back. Thus, I will show you this artwork now to break the holiday-induced hiatus.

Front of the Aquarium facing the zoo. Big Iguanodon statue looks more
like a dragon – but at least it is upright!

Above the zoo entrance there is this wonderful and wondrous Triceratops. What exactly extinct terrestrial animals have to do with an aquarium…. I guess this art, from pre-1913, is old enough that dinosaurs were lumped with all kinds of reptiles, including turtles and lizards, and terrariums being part of the Aquarium meant they got included, too.

The Aquarium building has main part and a large lateral expansion. On the walls of the expansion you can find, on the zoo side:


Meiolania – to be honest, this one isn’t too far off!

Polacanthus worked out less well. It’s a nodosaur, and the triangular spikes along the vertebral column are – well -erhm. ’nuff said. The broad, sprawling stance in the forelimbs needs no special mention either.

Belodon – quite phytosaurian, here 🙂

Pareiasaurus – again, not too shabby.

Mastodonsaurus – kinda cute! In fact, this one is pretty good!

Ammonites – quite funky.

There is a bridge across the (now pretending-to-be-Japanese-Garden) moat that has some nice palaeo details, too

Around the entrance a lot of nice stuff, for example:

I get the feeling that I will have to post about the Aquarium some time soon. The inside is pretty cool, too, y’know?

About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy
This entry was posted in historical buildings etc., Zoos. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Vintage dinosaurs Berlin style

  1. Wow, I love the dinosaurs artwork on the old style buildings.

  2. Pingback: Stained glass fishes | dinosaurpalaeo

  3. Pingback: Dinopic of the Day 18: Iguasnowdon, the Ornithischian Who Came in from the Cold | dinosaurpalaeo

  4. Pingback: Berlin Aquarium: more vintage palaeo art | dinosaurpalaeo

  5. Laura Young says:

    Thanks for posting this! I had a photo of Iguanadon that my father took when we was stationed in Germany in the Air Force in 1952. He’s gone now so I have photos that are mysteries but sure enough there it is! Thanks for one more mystery solved!

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