[FINISHED] Illuminated Evolution

29 November 2021 - 30 January 2022
The exhibition is now over.

Cover 600 million years in a single evening with this new immersive night walk devoted to the evolution of life.

Bande annonce de L'Évolution en voie d’illumination

© China Light Festival B.V. et Sichuan Tianyu Culture Communication Co., Ltd.

The Exhibition

This year, along the paths of the Jardin des Plantes and the Ménagerie, we will take you on a spectacular voyage through time.

Over a hundred new luminous structures, the fruit of the research and reconstruction work of the Muséum’s palaeontologists, represent the astonishing species that have inhabited the Earth over the last 600 million years. You will find there the “celebrities” of the past, such as dinosaurs, but also lesser-known species that will astound you with their astonishing forms and unique living habits.

All the species presented here existed in the past, but are now extinct.

Illuminated Evolution combines art, science and poetry.

Admire biodiversity from the past while letting the magic of the lights carry you away: an amazing experience!

Photo de visiteurs entrant dans la bouche d'une structure lumineuse géante de Tyrannosaurus rex

Tyrannosaurus rex - L'Évolution en voie d'illumination

© MNHN - F.-G. Grandin
Photo de diverses structures lumineuses géantes dont opabina

Vue générale d'espèces du Précambrien-Cambrien - L'Évolution en voie d'illumination

© MNHN - F.-G. Grandin
Photo de deux structures lumineuses géantes de dimetrodons

Dimetrodons - L'Évolution en voie d'illumination

© MNHN - F.-G. Grandin
Photo d'une structure lumineuse géante de scorpion de mer

Scorpion de mer - L'Évolution en voie d'illumination

© MNHN - F.-G. Grandin
Photo d'une structure lumineuse géante de cératite

Cératite - L'Évolution en voie d'illumination

© MNHN - F.-G. Grandin
Photo de deux structures lumineuses géantes de Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus - L'Évolution en voie d'illumination

© MNHN - F.-G. Grandin

A journey through geological times

The origins of life (3,700 to 490 million years ago)

The voyage starts from Place Valhubert with an immersion in Precambrian and Cambrian times. Between the formation of the Earth and the first evidence of life, there was a gap of nearly a billion years! And over the next 3 billion years, the life forms were very discreet and only to be found in the sea.

Primary era (490 to 250 million years ago)

The tour continues into the Palaeozoic era. Organisms started to adapt to the terrestrial environment: at first small plants, then animals, particularly insects and vertebrates.

Secondary era (250 to 66 million years ago)

The Mesozoic era heralded a boom in biodiversity, notably dinosaurs. These strange and sometimes gigantic “terrible lizards” reigned supreme during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Tertiary era (from 66 million years ago to the present time)

The walk ends in the Cenozoic era. Intensive volcanism and the impact of a giant meteorite greatly upset the biodiversity. Some species became extinct, like the non-avian dinosaurs and the ammonites. The mammals, which were very small until this point, became the most dominant of the terrestrial vertebrates and increasingly diversified.

An exhibition coproduced by the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle and China Light Festival.

Plan your visit

Customer service

  • illumination [@] mnhn.fr
  • +33 1 40 79 56 00 (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.)

Gourmet break

Several chalets, located in the heart of the night walk, offers winter specialties : hot wine, raclette, bretzels, french fries, sweet crepes and waffles…


Gift ideas for young and adults are to be discovered at the end of the tour.

illumination Offer

Visit a Museum site at a discounted rate with your full rate Illuminated Evolution ticket. Offer valid 3 months after your visit at the following sites: Grande Galerie de l’Évolution [Gallery of Evolution] and the exhibition The Sensory Odyssey ; Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée [Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology Gallery]; La Ménagerie, le zoo du Jardin des Plantes [Ménagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes]; Grandes Serres [Greenhouses]; Parc zoologique de Paris [Zoological Park of Paris]; Musée de l’Homme [Museum of Mankind] and the exhibition The Limits of Humanity.

Patron and partners

With the support of
Media partners
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Notes de bas de page

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