The Orlov Museum of Paleontology (Палеонтологический музей им. Ю. А. Орлова) was founded by Paleontological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciencies in 1937 prior to the XVII session of the International Geological Congress. It is named after Yuri Alexandrovich Orlov (1893-1966).
It contains public exhibits representing almost every type of fossil organism. Particularly well represented are dinosaurs from Mongolia, therapsids from the Perm region of Russia, and Precambrian fossils from Siberia.
The museum started out as a branch of the Zoological Museum of Moscow University. When originally founded in 1937, the museum occupied 700 sq. m. in a building on Bolshaya Kaluzhskaya Street. During the German-Soviet War the museum was closed and the major part of collection relocated to Alma-Ata.
In 1944 museum was reopened for the general public, but in 1954 it was closed again due to the shortage of display space. In 1965 the USSR Council of Ministers granted 2 million rubles for the construction of the new museum building. However, construction works started only in 1972. The renewed museum met the first visitors in 1987.
The red-brick building resembles something between a medieval castle and a Victorian power station. One of the interesting peculiarities of the Museum is the combination of the display of natural materials with artisticmonumental decoration, showing the evolution of life on the Earth. The Paleontological Museum includes 6 halls and the expositions area is 4200 square meters.