The Museum of Zoology was established in 1928 during the Japanese colonial period and many valuable animal specimens have been collected since the beginning. In the early days, recording the fauna of Taiwan and its neighboring areas, such as southeastern Asia and Hainan Island, was the major purpose of the collection. Later on, due to the economic development, rodents and fishes became the main collection targets. In recent years, the collection expands, for example, earthworms, bats, shrews, larval fishes, etc., contingent on the research interests of individual faculty members.
Before 1999, the specimens were exhibited in old wooden glass cabinets in Building No. 1, which stands by the main entrance of National Taiwan University. Some of the skeletons of large animals, such as ostrich and Malayan tapir, were displayed in the hallway. Two whale skeletons, a baleen whale and a pilot whale, were hanged from the ceiling of the hallway. The sight of those specimens has become a collective memory of many alumni. In 1999, the specimens were moved with the department of Zoology into the new Life Science Building standing by the Experimental Farm. The specimens were rearranged, and displayed in an exhibition room on the first floor of Life Science Building.
Since the fall of 2007, a special exhibition featuring "A New Experience of Life Science" has been launched in the room which is designated as the exhibit room of the Museum of Zoology. The special exhibition, including a toothed whale, a baleen whale, an Asian elephant, and a few birds, are organized and displayed under a "bioacoustics" theme. The exhibition not only depicts the animals' sounds, habitats and habits, but also the physical properties of their sounds. We hope that this special exhibition will bring people a new impression on life science.
In the future, the College of Life Science will integrate the Museum of Zoology and the Herbarium of National Taiwan University into the Museum of Life Science, which will be a member of National Taiwan University Museums. The integration includes renovating two buildings behind the Building No.1 to become a new exhibition hall of Museum of Life Science, and dedicating the surrounding areas, including a small plot of restored wetland, a fern garden and a historical greenhouse, as parts of the Museum. Through the integration, the precious specimens and the historical buildings would be revitalized to assume important roles to present the historical and latest developments of Life Science to the university community and the general public.