The Museum of Natural History, Wroclaw University, is the largest institution of this kind in Poland. It came into existence in 1814. Its collections comprise numerous unique specimens of extinct and rare species such as the great auk (Pinguinus impennis), passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis), huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) or Tasmanian wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus).
One of the most precious exhibits in the Museum's collection is a skeleton of the Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus), a species got extinct 10 thousand years ago, which is displayed in "The Vertebrates Skeletal System" section. The span of antlers of this species exceeded 3 m. In its collection the Museum possesses also the best preserved in Poland skull of the auroch (Bos primigenius), the ancestor of domestic cattle. This mammal was entirely exterminated in the Middle Ages.
The highlight of the collection, displayed in "The Animal World" exhibition, is the only in Poland complete skeleton of the largest animal which has ever lived on the earth, namely the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus).