Sections in the museum:
- Mineral Sands: Mineral Sands from the Indian rare earths limited, Manavalakurichy, Kanyakumari District.
- Ilmenite: is a black mineral containing Ferro-Titanate and it is the main ore for Titanium Dioxide and Titanium metals. The main use of Ilmenite is for the production of Titanium dioxide used as a pigment in paint, paper, and leather and rubber industries.
- Rutile: is a black mineral containing about 93% of Titanium dioxide. Rutile is mainly used in the manufacture of welding rods as a flux.
- Zircon: is the main source of Zirconium. Zircon is a refractory mineral and issued in refractories for making moulds and cores. It is also used in ceramic industries and in nuclear reactors.
- Monazite: is a greenish yellow mineral containing radioactive elements like Thorium and Uranium. Used in the manufacture of domestic detergent.
- Garnet: is a group of minerals. It is mostly used for making abrasive materials like garnet paper, grinding wheels, etc.
- Bird Sanctuary: A bird sanctuary is a breeding place for birds from the different parts of the world. Keoladeo Ghana sanctuary near Delhi, Bharatpur sanctuary in Rajasthan, Dachigam sanctuary in Kashmir, Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary in Karnataka, and Vedanthangal bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu are some of the important bird sanctuaries of India. Vedanthangal is in the district of Chengleput, situated at a distance of about 87 kms. south of Chennai. In Vedanthangal an artificial lake of 74 acres forms the heronry and the Barringtonia trees, which grow in the water, provides the ideal nesting sites for the breeding birds. During winter, from November to February, depending on the timings and the strength of the monsoon rains. The Spoonbill, Openbill Stork, Grey Heron, Indian Darter, Cormorant, Bittern, Egret, White Ibis, Pelican, and Night Heron breed here. Some of them are displayed in this diorama.
- Scrub Jungle: Scrub jungles are found throughout India. A scrub jungle consists of bushy, short growing trees, which provides shelter for many nocturnal animals. Some of the birds and the animals commonly found in the scrub jungles are displayed in this diorama.
- The Slender Loris: (Loris tardigradus lydekkarianus) The Slender Loris is found in South India and Ceylon. It sleeps by the day hidden among the foliage or in a hole and starts its rambles at dusk. It feeds on berries, insects, lizards, tree frogs and small birds.
- Birds such as Pariah kite, Sunbird, Crow Pheasant, Skylark, Myna and Oriole commonly found in the scrub jungles are displayed in this diorama.
- The Leopard Cat: (Prionailurus bengalensis) The Leopard cat is found in the forest regions of India and South Eastern Asia. It lives in the hollows in the trees. It feeds on small birds and animals.
- The Indian Fox: (Vulpes bengalensis) The common Indian fox is found throughout India in the waste and scrub of the desert zone. It lives in burrow dug by itself in open ground. It sleeps by the day and comes out at dusk to seek its food. It feeds on small mammals, reptiles, insects and birds.
- The Indian Pangolin or Scaly-Ant Eater: (Manis Crassicaudata) Pangolin usually lives in burrows made by itself and feeds on ants and termites by digging out the earth. Pangolin has a long protrusible and glutinous tongue. When feeding, the tongue is thrust out and rapidly withdrawn in to the mouth with the ants adhering to its sticky surface. The most distinctive character of a Pangolin is its armor of protective scales. In defense the animal curls into an armored ball. The scales of the Pangolin maybe regarded as hairs or rather as spines flattened. The Indian Pangolin inhabits the plains and slope of hills.
- Rubber plantation: Rubber is obtained form the latex or the milky juice present in the tissues of a large variety of plants peculiar to tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is supposed to be have been discovered more than 400 years ago in South America. When the method of vulcanizing rubber was found out in 1874 the demand for the rubber steadily rose. It was Mr. Thomas Hancock who discovered that crude rubber when submitted to the heat could be converted to any shape or form. There were three kinds of rubber introduced to India in 1876 namely:
- Para rubber: produced by the plant Havea Brasiliensis. In South India Havea Brasiliensis is cultivated in Travancore, Cochin, Malabar, Coorg, Nilgiris, Mysore, etc.
- India rubber: It is obtained from the Ficus Elastica belonging to the Urticaceae family. In India it thrives well at the foot of the mountains of North India beginning at the borders of Nepal, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan and Sylhet. It was discovered through the researches of Dr. Roxburg and then it was
introduced in England as rubber.
- Ceara rubber: It is obtained from the plant tree Manihot Glaziovii belonging to Euphorbiaceae. In South India it grows in Nilgiris, Mysore and South Coimbatore. The plant can be easily be grown by seeds or cuttings.
Mineral Sands:(From left) Illumanite, Rubtile, Zircon, Monazite, Garnet and Raw sand.
The best rubber in the market is the Para rubber. Another source of rubber is from the tree Castilloa Clartica belonging to natural order Urticaceae. It is grown near Calicut, Malabar, and Nilgiri Hills (Barliar). This rubber is called as the Ule rubber.
Tapping: From about 6 feet from the ground “V” shaped incisions are made in the bark with special knives called the Tapping knives. The latex tube run vertically between the cork and the wood and specially in the regions of Cambium. At the bottom of each “V” incision a small aluminum cup is hung. Tapping is done early in the day and will continue up to 18 or 20 days. The collected latex is strained through a wire and poured into enamel trays, and expose to the atmosphere by adding some acid or alkali. The coagulated rubber is washed and pressed to get the moisture out. Rubber is used in several ways especially in the manufacture of motor tyres, cycle tyres, electrical appliances, raincoats, footwear etc. Rubber plays vital role in modern civilization and its indispensability in industrial economy of the country is undisputed. Synthetic rubbers and reclaimed rubbers are prepared and used nowadays on a large scale.