Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales
Once on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the barrio of Caballito gets few tourists, but its largest open space, heavily used Parque Centenario, is a good area for visitors to see an unadorned but improving neighborhood that’s popular with urban homesteaders.
The park’s natural history museum, housing one of the country’s largest and best-maintained collections of its type, veers between the traditional stuff-in-glass-cases approach and more sophisticated exhibits that provide ecological, historical, and cultural context.
Dating from 1937, its quarters are only a third the size of the original grandiose project but include decorative details such as bas-relief spiderwebs around the main entrance, and sculpted owls flanking the upper windows.
The main floor contains geological and paleontological exhibits, including a reconstruction of the massive Patagonian specimens Giganotosaurus carolini (the world’s largest carnivorous dinosaur) and the herbivore Argentinosaurus huinculensis (whose neck alone measures about 12 meters). The 2nd floor stresses mostly South American mammals (including marine mammals), comparative anatomy, amphibians and reptiles, birds, arthropods, and botany.
The Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia (Angel Gallardo 490, tel./fax 011/4982-0306, www.macn.secyt.gov.ar, 2–7 p.m. daily, US$0.80 for visitors age 7 and older) is about equidistant from the Malabia and Angel Gallardo stations on Subte Línea B.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition