Harvard Museum of Natural History

Harvard Museum of Natural History Explore 16 galleries showcasing dinosaurs, mammals, meteorites, birds, rare minerals and gemstones, the world-famous Glass Flowers, and life in New England forests and marine waters.
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The Harvard Museum of Natural History presents to the public Harvard’s natural history collections and research of scientists across the University. Its historic displays include the world-famous Blaschka "Glass Flowers"; an extensive collection of minerals and meteorites; fossil, taxidermied, and jarred specimens. New and changing exhibitions highlight current science and address contemporary issues including climate change and new insights into evolutionary biology. The museum offers a wide array of lectures, classes, and programs for learners of all ages, from school children to adults. The HMNH is one of the four Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. See website for admission information.

New England beaches are starting to open. See if you can peep some hermit crabs on the shore, or in tide pools, and make...
06/03/2020

New England beaches are starting to open. See if you can peep some hermit crabs on the shore, or in tide pools, and make this craft at home. Have fun, and stay safe!

Hermit crabs often make their home in empty snail shells, but they also have a “shell” of their own. They are part of a group of animals called arthropods, that also includes insects, spiders, lobsters, and millipedes.

Like all arthropods, hermit crabs are covered in an exoskeleton. Unlike most arthropods, only the exoskeleton that covers a hermit crab’s front half is hard. Hermit crabs wrap their soft, flexible tails around the inside of a snail shell to carry the shell with them. When the snail shell gets too small, they wiggle out and move into a larger one! Make your own hermit crab using pipe cleaners and a pasta shell!

Materials:
• Pipe cleaners
• Jumbo pasta shell, to be the snail-shell home
• Liquid craft glue
• Markers or paint for decorating
• Scissors
• Googly eyes, construction paper, or other craft materials (optional)

Directions:
• Make your hermit crab body. Twist the pipe cleaners together to make a body, legs, and claws. Use scissors to cut the pipe cleaners if you want shorter pieces.

• Add eyes. Glue the googly eyes to your crab, or make eyes out of pipe cleaners or other craft materials.

• Give your crab a shell home. Wiggle the tail end of your crab into the pasta shell. Glue your crab in place, or leave it free so it can go in and out like a real hermit crab.

• Decorate your snail shell using paint or markers.

Tip: Use this picture of a hermit crab out of its snail-shell home for inspiration! #museumathome #museumfromhome #HMSCconnects!

06/02/2020
The David Rockefeller Beetle Collection

For #NationalInsectWeek we are sharing this fascinating lecture about the David Rockefeller Beetle collection, presented by Brian Farrell, Harvard Professor of Biology and Curator of Entomology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology.

David Rockefeller had a passion for beetles and collected more than 150,000 specimens, beginning as a seven-year-old naturalist and continuing throughout his life. Brian Farrell discusses the development of the collection and its significance to understanding Earth’s biodiversity. https://bit.ly/BrianFarrellDavidRockefellerBeetlesLecture #museumfromhome #museumlecture

Brian D. Farrell, Curator in Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology; Professor of Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Director, Da...

Our friends at the Mineralogical and Geological Museum at Harvard University (MGMH) will be hosting weekly interviews wi...
06/01/2020

Our friends at the Mineralogical and Geological Museum at Harvard University (MGMH) will be hosting weekly interviews with special guests like mineral collectors, curators, dealers, researchers and reporters as they share experiences and tips on mineral collecting, research and curation.

Their first guest this Wednesday will be Dr. Eloïse Gaillou of l’École des Mines de Paris: https://www.facebook.com/events/575838076382208/

We hope you can join them!

We're VERY excited (and only somewhat nervous) about announcing the launch of our new program - Mineral Talks LIVE!!!
This is a cooperative effort among BlueCap Productions, the Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard University and MINES ParisTech (aka the Paris School of Mines).

In this time of increased isolation, the three of us (Bryan Swoboda, Raquel Mgmh and Eloïse Gaillou) felt that there was a strong need for the mineral-collecting community to connect in new and different ways. Seeing how the fate of mineral shows for the rest of 2020 seems somewhat iffy (one of our traditional ways of all connecting), we thought every one might enjoy a weekly series of LIVE Zoom webinars.

We're going through our contact lists of friends and we're lining up interviews with curators, dealers, collectors, miners, publishers, researchers, artists and more in the mineral world. Our goal is to, hopefully, bring you an exciting new program where you can learn more about the PEOPLE in our community while also getting to drool over some great minerals.

Each episode will be broadcasted LIVE every Wednesday, via Zoom, and will have a short Question and Answer segment at the end of each interview. Registration is open NOW and we look forward to seeing you on-line.

What if museum animals were suddenly to come to life? This hartebeest from our Africa gallery was painted by accomplishe...
05/31/2020

What if museum animals were suddenly to come to life? This hartebeest from our Africa gallery was painted by accomplished painter and original museum sketch facilitator Jana Matusz for her exhibit Face to Face.

Jana Matusz’s portraits use vibrant color and texture to give life and voice to the faces of animal specimens otherwise frozen in time and space. Made with love and reverence for the animals she paints, Jana has imbued each with a personality all its own.

For our caption challenge please answer: What do you think he or she is saying, or thinking? #SketchingSunday #FacetoFaceHMNH #MuseumAtHome http://bit.ly/FacetoFaceJanaMatusz

We love these articles from the Harvard University Gazette on life at home. Our own educator Javier Marin is quoted abou...
05/30/2020
Adventures from the homes of the Harvard community

We love these articles from the Harvard University Gazette on life at home. Our own educator Javier Marin is quoted about this pilgrimages to campus to feed our live animals.

“Depending on the day, I’ll do different things ... but for the most part, there are things I do generally every single day I'm there. I definitely feel like I have to support them during these times and let them know they’re not forgotten and that we’re still counting on them for when we get kids back at the museum,” says Javier. https://bit.ly/HMNHEducatorTalkstotheGazette

Stories from Harvard faculty, students, and staff about work and life in the pandemic.

05/29/2020
Xander's Panda Party HMSC Story Time

How are you staying in touch with friends and loved ones during this time? Maybe a weekly zoom meeting, sending snail mail, or a simple phone call.

Join our Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Volunteer Coordinator Carol Carlson for a virtual story time. This week’s story is Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013). https://bit.ly/HMSCNatureStorytime

Xander is setting up a "bear affair" with all the things bears like: honey, bamboo, grubs, and more. Soon he realizes that other animals besides bears should be invited, so he makes up a new invitation for a "bestival festival." It turns out to be a lot of fun, and everyone can participate!

Sign up for our family eNews to get the HMSC Story Time in your inbox each week: https://bit.ly/signupconnectsfamilies. #museumfromhome #storytime #HMSCconnects

Do you currently compost, use a compost service, or would like to know more about how to recycle food scraps to provide ...
05/29/2020
Composting

Do you currently compost, use a compost service, or would like to know more about how to recycle food scraps to provide nutrition for the earth? The Harvard Office for Sustainability has handy dandy tips on getting a compost bin started, information on campus policies, a partnership with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and links to city resources: https://bit.ly/GreenHarvardCompostTips. #LearnAboutCompostingDay #compost #greenharvard

Where available, compost all food, tea bags, napkins, paper towels, and compostable products.

Congratulations to the graduating class of #Harvard20!
05/28/2020

Congratulations to the graduating class of #Harvard20!

After graduation, Harvard GSAS graduate Christina Chang will begin a Department of Energy ARPA-E Fellowship. There she will develop sustainable technologies for industries that collectively account for one-third of global energy use — concrete, steel, aluminum, pulp and paper, plastics and chemicals. Read more: https://hrvd.me/chang20f

Photo courtesy of Christina Chang

Let’s have an ant party! Ants are known for being highly social insects. They communicate and cooperate by touching ante...
05/27/2020

Let’s have an ant party! Ants are known for being highly social insects. They communicate and cooperate by touching antennae, and by using special chemicals to tell each other about food they have found. Try this experiment to learn what foods ants prefer, and to watch ants in action!

Search outside for a place where you see lots of ants. Good places to look are cracks in the sidewalk or patches of dirt.

Place a small amount of each broken up food (fruit, grains, condiments, meat, or beans) close to the ants. Remember where you put each food!

What do the ants do when they discover the food? Do the ants seem to like some foods more than others? Do you see any ants carrying bits of food? Do the ants work together, or alone?

What did YOUR ants like to eat? Share what you found with us in the comments below (images welcome!) #HMSCconnects #museumfromhome #museumathome #familyfriendlymuseum #kidsactivities

Sign up for our weekly family eNews for more fun, family-friendly activities! https://bit.ly/signupconnectsfamilies

We are pleased to present a new HMSC Connects! project. "Extraordinary Things" features intriguing objects from all four...
05/26/2020

We are pleased to present a new HMSC Connects! project. "Extraordinary Things" features intriguing objects from all four of our museums that invite you to explore each object from multiple, and sometimes surprising, perspectives. https://bit.ly/HMSCExtraordinaryThings

Each week we will present objects from the collections in the context of a theme. Apropos of everyone staying at home, this week's theme is "Home Sweet Home.”

This tall column of sediments from a salt marsh, called the Winogradsky, resides and thrives in the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s Microbial Life exhibition, curated by Dr. Scott Chimileski and Professor Roberto Kolter. https://bit.ly/ExtraordinaryThingsWinogradskyColumn

The column is a “home away from home” for millions of microbes. To create the column, scientists mixed sediment from a local salt marsh with nutrients and incubated it under lights. Over many weeks, different microbes living in the sediment multiplied, forming visible colonies at distinct locations within the column. Green, photosynthetic microbial colonies form closer to the top where light is abundant. Lower down, sulfur-producing microbes convert nitrogen into forms that can be used by other organisms.

This time lapse video shows changes over a 10-month period: https://bit.ly/TimeLapseWinogradskyVideo

Colonies of one type of microbe may live and interact in positive ways with colonies of other types of microbes. What are some examples in nature of mutually supportive relationships, where different types of organisms help each other in ways that benefit them both? #HMSCconnects #museumfromhome

Winogradsky column image Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College.

"When certain species of coral flash a shimmering palette of vibrant pinks, reds, blues, purples and yellows, they aren’...
05/25/2020
When Coral’s Colorful Show Is a Sign That It’s Sick

"When certain species of coral flash a shimmering palette of vibrant pinks, reds, blues, purples and yellows, they aren’t simply showing off. This coral is attempting to recover the algae they cannot live without, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology"

"Coral depends on a remarkable symbiotic relationship with algae, which lives inside the organism’s tissue. When the algae-coral partnership is thriving, many coral display a healthy brown hue."

Under stress, certain coral species put on displays to try to re-attract symbiotic algae they need to survive.

We are pleased to present a new HMSC Connects! project. "Extraordinary Things" features intriguing objects from all four...
05/23/2020

We are pleased to present a new HMSC Connects! project. "Extraordinary Things" features intriguing objects from all four of our museums that invites you, each week, to explore each object from multiple, and sometimes surprising, perspectives. https://bit.ly/HMSCExtraordinaryThings

Apropos of everyone still mostly at home, this week's theme is "Home Sweet Home.” https://bit.ly/HMANESpinningBowl

Spinning and weaving are some of the oldest domestic activities in human history. But humans are not the first or only creatures who weave. Orb-weaver spiders create incredibly intricate and delicate webs.

Create your own woven work of art!

• Go outside and find four sticks about the same length, and tie them together so they make a frame shape.

• Next, tie string horizontally across the two vertical sticks.

• You can place them as close or as far apart as you want.

• Now, collect grasses, flowers, leaves, and anything that you find interesting.

• Take your discoveries and weave them into your web (over one string, under another).

• Play around with string placement, weaving spacing, and different materials.

Our colleague Jan's creation is shown here. Want to share your creations on social media? We’d love to see them! #HMSCconnects #crafturday #museumfromhome

Have you seen our new HMSC Connects! Family eNews yet? It's easy to sign up, just visit here: https://bit.ly/signupconne...
05/23/2020

Have you seen our new HMSC Connects! Family eNews yet? It's easy to sign up, just visit here: https://bit.ly/signupconnectsfamilies.

We have a special treat for you! Join us via Zoom on Friday, May 29th at 2pm for Animal Snack Time! Share a snack with some of HMSC’s live animals. Bring along your pet or a favorite stuffed animal. Visit our sign-up page for more information and to register: https://bit.ly/HMSCAnimalSnackTime. #WorldTurtleDay #HMSCconnects #museumfromhome

In this lecture Russell A. Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer, Global Wildlife Conservation, goes into great detail...
05/22/2020

In this lecture Russell A. Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer, Global Wildlife Conservation, goes into great detail on how #biodiversity is the sum total of life on Earth and a living legacy to future generations.

Focusing on nonhuman primates—our closest living relatives—Mittermeier examines strategies for setting conservation priorities, highlights successful initiatives from around the world, and demonstrates why biodiversity is so critical to human survival.https://bit.ly/ConservingBiodiversityMittermeier #DayForBiologicalDiversity

Happy #WorldBeeDay! 🐝 Bees are so important to our environment. We are happy to be a part of the Harvard network keeping...
05/20/2020

Happy #WorldBeeDay! 🐝 Bees are so important to our environment. We are happy to be a part of the Harvard network keeping the bees humming.

Did you know that the European honeybee is responsible for pollinating one third of the food we eat? Beekeeping as a hobby is wonderful not only for the honey, but also the pollination and improved yields of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Learn this and more with GSBees, the Harvard Graduate School of Design beekeeping club. The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture brought more information about the group at their Earth Day webpage. Check it out: https://buff.ly/2VNQPps
Photo: GSBees #SustainableHarvard #EarthDay

The weather in New England is getting more consistently beautiful. We love this image of the Tozzer courtyard on campus....
05/19/2020

The weather in New England is getting more consistently beautiful. We love this image of the Tozzer courtyard on campus. It borders the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Tozzer Library, the Harvard Anthropology Department, the Harvard Earth & Planetary Sciences Department, and the Harvard Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. #MayRayDay #harvard

#MuseumAtHome with our new digital offerings for all ages and interests. #InternationalMuseumDay
05/18/2020

#MuseumAtHome with our new digital offerings for all ages and interests. #InternationalMuseumDay

Check out our new page of virtual, #MuseumAtHome digital offerings: HMSC Connects! https://bit.ly/HMSCconnects

We have resources for all ages and interests including virtual events like Summer Solstice, a new podcast from our exhibits team, HMSC story time, a family e-news, and the HMSC Explorers Club feed, with much more to come. #MuseumDay #IMD2020 #InternationalMuseumDay

The rewards of looking at nature more closely than usual…You might be surprised to know how colorful the cones of conife...
05/17/2020
Spruce cones in spring

The rewards of looking at nature more closely than usual…

You might be surprised to know how colorful the cones of conifers can be in their early stages of growth. Arnold Arboretum Director Ned Friedman considers the cones of spruces ("Picea") to have the grandeur of magnolias. Get those paints and sketchbooks out and visit his Flickr site for these amazing beauties.

Arnold Arboretum

Happy #LoveATreeDay day! In our recent HMSC Connects! Family eNews we explored a fun, nature-based activity called "Hug ...
05/16/2020

Happy #LoveATreeDay day! In our recent HMSC Connects! Family eNews we explored a fun, nature-based activity called "Hug A Tree":

1. First, ask your partner to cover their eyes with the blindfold.
2. Spin your partner around a few times, so they don’t know which way they are facing. Wait until your partner isn’t dizzy anymore. Lead your partner carefully to a tree.
3. Have your partner hug the tree! Tell them to feel the tree all over. What do they notice that is special about the tree?
4. Lead your partner carefully away from the tree.
5. Spin them around again so they don’t know which way they came from.
6. Ask your partner to take off the blindfold. Now, challenge your partner to find their tree! Can they use the clues they observed to find their tree?

Check out other family resources on our new HMSC Connects! page, and sign up to receive our eNews with more fun activities: https://bit.ly/HMSCconnectsFamily

#museumfromhome #homebasedlearning #learningfromhome #HMSCconnects

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26 Oxford St
Cambridge, MA
02138

MBTA Red Line to Harvard Square. 8-minute walk to museum.

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I hope that experts of NASA saw my diamond meteorite, it is a new kind that has never been seen befor. Into this piece there is diamond well seen by eyes. I hope that this meteorite take a name of my village.
I have a couple very early American additions of Darwin given to me years ago by a Clark Univ. Professor.
Found out about this place due to it's inclusion in my page-a-day calendar, which features cool sights to see around the world!
My son found this at his grandparents house. We’d love to know what it is!
Open today??
The whole exhibit was amazing. I loved this place, however when it was time to leave it was pouring outside. My mom almost 80 years old and with asthma had to wait outside because they asked us to leave because it was time to close. We were just waiting in the lobby for the person to pick up us. My mom got a very bad cold from the visit and I was very disappointed of the lack of compassion.
ALOYSIUS LILIUS AUTHOR OF THE GREGORIAN REFORM OF THE CALENDAR. https://www.facebook.com/areacnrfi/posts/2255396894691637