Gallery 1

Origins of the Yamagata Area

Photograph:Model skeleton of the Yamagata sea cow 'Yamagata Kaigyu' The theme of this display explains how the land of Yamagata, which was sleeping under the sea, rose up to form the origins of Yamagata.  
 Near the entrance to the gallery you will see a model skeleton of the Yamagata sea cow Yamagata Dai-Kaigyu, and models showing places where fossils were found.  



Forest Science

Photograph:Stuffed Golden Eagle Yamagata prefecture's natural forests are deciduous and comprised of mainly beech trees. Broad-leaved evergreens developed in the coastal regions along the Japan Sea and on the island  of Tobishima. In addition, there are secondary forests of mizunara, Japanese  water oak and konara oak (Quercus serrata), as well as cedar plantations. With golden eagles at the top of the food chain, the beech forest diorama modeled on the Gassan and Asahi mountain ranges describes the relationship between the plants and the animals which live there. 

World of Plants

 Pressed leaf samples, specimens of trees and models are used in this exhibition of various plants and mushrooms found in Yamagata Prefecture. In addition, the characteristic distribution of plants seen throughout Yamagata Prefecture is explained using factors of the area's geological history . There is also a display of medicinal and toxic plants. 

World of Insects

Photograph:Specimen of  the butterfly 'Gifucho' Representative insects characteristic of nature in Yamagata are exhibited, focusing on displays of such butterflies as Luehdorfia Japonica Gifucho which is found mainly in the Shonai area, Hime Luehdorfia Japonica Hime Gifucho which is found inland, Alpine Benihikage, and the southern common bluebottle Aosuji Ageha. Around 90 varieties of insects and butterflies found in the prefecture's natural and planted forests and waterside areas, including 10 varieties of cicadas, 40 varieties of grasshoppers, as well as rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles, are displayed. 

World of Wild Birds

 The life and habitats of Yamagata's wild birds  are described using stuffed specimens and small dioramas which are displayed sectioned into categories like grasslands and mountains. In addition, to show migratory birds' movement between their breeding and wintering grounds, birds seen in one locale are designated as sedentary birds, summer birds, winter birds, traveling birds, wandering birds, stray birds, etc. About 350 species of wild birds are known in this prefecture.


Warm Ocean Currents and Snow in Yamagata

 Yamagata Prefecture, located along the northern Japan Sea side, has zones with heavy snowfall. However, besides the plants and animals which are adapted to low temperatures and the snowy winters of those areas, we also find many types of warm region plants and animals along the Shonai coast and on Tobishima island where the weather is influenced by  the warm Tsushima Current moving northward along the Japan Sea. The leatherback sea turtle Osagame  which lives in warm southern seas is displayed, and so is a diorama of creatures which hibernate in the snow.