A very important museum, which every visitor of the island should see, is the Natural History Museum (Paleontological) in Mitilinii (+30 22730-52055). It houses important findings of fossils of mammals of the prehistoric period, which lived in the area of Egiida, i.e. the area where today’s Aegean Sea is, when this was land that joined Greece with Minor Asia. The fossil bones belong to mammals, which were found during excavations in the area, aged 8 -10 million years. Many of the findings are in collections of museums of Europe, America, as well as Athens, whereas here we can find important fossils of small horses, rhinos, hyaenas, antelope, mammoth, the Samian-beast (Samothirio), as well as other animals that lived during that period.
The most famous exhibit is the “kaplani” (which was the reason for the homonymous novel of Alki Zei – 1966), which was a wild feline that looks like a leopard, which obviously came here from the coast of Minor Asia and was killed 150 years ago.
Lastly, the museum has animals and birds of the Greek territory, minerals and rocks, as well as flora samples from Samos and the Aegean. The museum belongs to the Konstantinos and Maria Zimali foundation, which was established in 1992, aiming at the housing and care of this significant treasure.