The exhibition project “Wildlife: staying clean without soap” displays widespread and unusually creative ways of staying clean among wild animals and archaic humans.
Keeping clean is a very important part of a wild animal’s life. A great number of animals make many efforts and spend much time on licking their fur, cleaning feathers or just taking dirt baths. Cats, for example, spend 1/3 of their lives licking themselves. Like many mammals, they keep clean using a special brush, their own tongue. The surface of the tongue is perfect for grooming, especially because of antibacterial substances in a cat’s saliva.
Animals and birds have different approaches to this problem. Chinchillas and squirrels take dust baths. Wild boars, elephants and hippos prefer to bathe in the mud, which, sticking to their skin, covers it with a crust and protects from insect bites. A part of the exhibition helps to learn more about the role of hygiene in human history.