Turning in a whirl beneath gently clanging music in the Jardin des Plantes is a small carousel of animals that are now extinct—or may be soon.
Called the Dodo Manège, this carousel was installed in 1992 at the inspiration of a scientist in comparative anatomy in the adjacent natural history museum. Sized for children, riders can climb aboard the back of such vanished creatures as the thylacine, the dodo, the aepyornis (a massive creature known as the “elephant bird”), the Barbary lion, the horned turtle, and the sivatherium (a type of early giraffe). There are also endangered animals like the panda and the gorilla mingled in the herd.
A small plaque in the front of the carousel offers a guide to these extinct and endangered animals, offering an ecological context to the whimsical amusement. The top of the carousel is adorned with depictions of scenes from the surrounding Jardin des Plantes.