"Cabinet of nature curiosities" - so calls the collection of biologist Rostyslav Shykula. For 30 years, he has collected more than 2,500 specimens of rare animals, mostly invertebrates from the seas and tropical coasts and forests. This entire colorful "zoo" is presented to the residents of Rivne.
The collection is housed in the auditorium of the Academician Stepan Demianchuk International University of Economics and Humanities. Rostyslav Shykula, a senior lecturer at the Department of Biology (pictured), teaches zoology to students, and the exhibits help him a lot.
All exhibits are rare in Ukraine, as they are exotic inhabitants of the seas, oceans, rainforests and savannas. In addition, a significant part of the collection is in a section in which are presents insects of Africa, South America, South and Southeast Asia and adjacent islands. Among the rare species of Ukraine are the dead-headed woodpecker, the black apollo, the mahogany, the podalirium sailboat, the deer beetle, the musk mustache, the large oak mustache, and the hermit beetle.
Many exhibits "come" from Afghanistan, such as scarabs, scorpion, phalanx, wasp-scolia, mantis, cockroach and even a crab. The collection includes the world's largest scorpions, arachnids, tarantulas, butterflies and beetles. Of the marine inhabitants - almost three dozen species of crabs, a dozen crayfish, lobsters, lobsters, sea urchins and stars, corals. Seashells from Cuba, the Barents Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific, there are even huge tridacni-toothed mollusks, reaching the size of a school desk and weighing three hundred kilograms, the jaws of a reef shark from the Indian Ocean, the sperm whale's tooth and whale mustache, swordfish and swordfish. And there are fossilized life forms: ammonites, belemnites, sea urchins and mollusks and corals, teeth of an extinct shark from Volyn and a mammoth tooth from Goshchansky district. The most valuable exhibit in the insect collection is the hercules beetle, 14.8 cm long, and it is the largest beetle in the world.
Much of the collection consists of wet products, namely: tropical snakes and boas, exotic turtles, geckos and salamanders, crocodile heart, African lion and Amazon catfish.
In order to replenish the collection with new exhibits and collect photo-video material about the life of animals, in 2008. expeditions were made to the Sahara, the Libyan and Arabian deserts, the Arabian Mountains and the Red and Mediterranean Seas. In 2009 With the support of the rector, research was conducted on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Komodo, New Guinea, and the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. The collection was supplemented by new species of tropical insects, mollusks, corals and other animals.
The exhibits of the collection are used in lectures, practical and laboratory classes of students, which provides the maximum amount of information during the educational process. Currently, only Lviv National University has a similar collection in the western regions of Ukraine. But the exhibits there are much older - some of them are already 150 years old. Now the collection is open to students and schoolchildren of Rivne, thanks to it many curious students became seriously interested in zoology and entered the university. The collection includes only specimens that have already performed their reproductive function, and the time used for catching is such as not to harm the number of a particular species.