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Natural Science Museum, Carlos de La Torre

Carlos de La Torre Museum of Natural Science from Holguin City provides space for one of the most significant natural sciences collections in Cuba: stuffed birds and mammals, sponges, conchs and shells, and a large collection of polymites.

Among its most valuables collections in Carlos de La Torre Museum of Natural Science are the only two specimens of the royal woodpecker to be found in any Cuban museum.

This bird is practically extinct and the few specimens that have been seen recently were located in the most abrupt places of the Sierra Maestra range, where they have found refuge and protection against predators.

Carlos de La Torre Museum of Natural Science joint another institutions of Natural Science from Cuba and foreign have organized some expeditions to locate the royal woodpecker and take pictures of it have so far met with no success.

Carlos de La Torre Museum of Natural Science from Holguin City also has a specimen of the manatee (seacow). This autochthonous mammal is virtually extinct due to indiscriminate killing.

The manatee belongs to the order Sirenia, made up by several species of dugongs and manatees, which are very similar and whose existence on the planet dates back thousand of years. Due to its habits, the manatee has been the subject of old legends. It is believed that mythical mermaids were the fruit of the imagination of mariners who saw these animals breastfeeding their young in the water, in a maternal, almost human, attitude.