The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

FRESHWATER - Life in Flow

The majority of the Blue Planet is covered with water, but for us as humans the underwater world remains hidden at first glance. Freshwater makes up only a tiny percentage of all of the water on earth, but harbours exceptionally diverse habitats. Here, an often underestimated range of animal species can be found in both tropical and our native waters.


Rivers are extremely dynamic systems: constantly changing water levels and flows cause changes as a result of erosion or material deposits, bringing with them a constant transformation of the habitats. But along the course of the river the conditions and structures to which the animals have adapted in numerous different ways also change.


Since the origin of the earth, all of the water in it has been in an eternal global cycle that allows life to exist on the continents. Freshwater is an extremely valuable resource as both a habitat for the organisms that live in it and for us humans who are essentially reliant on it.



Water matters like no other element to all organismic life, and freshwater habitats are hence in the focus of this new exhibition.





Tanks with detailed habitat displays show animals living in tropical and temperate aquatic habitats, and explain surprising adaptations to freshwater environments. In sum, the new exhibition shows in >16.000l more than 60 species in life, ranging from fishes to snakes.





Contact person

Head of Vertebrate Department
Curator Ichthyology
+49 228 9122-255
+49 228 9122-212
f.herder [at]