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.

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.

Visit our Putnam Marine Life gallery this summer to cool off, and discover a floor-to-ceiling recreation of life in New ...
06/08/2019

Visit our Putnam Marine Life gallery this summer to cool off, and discover a floor-to-ceiling recreation of life in New England’s coastal waters, revealing the diversity and dynamic interplay among animals in marine communities just off local shores.

As models of glowing jellies, a giant sea turtle, and other sea animals appear to swim above their heads, visitors learn about new research and explore displays of real fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, corals, and other marine organisms selected from the world-renowned collections of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. #WorldOceansDay

Bugs and Slugs, oh my! In our July 15th Summer Science Week: Bugs & Slugs middle schoolers will get up close and persona...
06/07/2019
Summer Science Week: Science of Invertebrates: Bugs and Slugs

Bugs and Slugs, oh my! In our July 15th Summer Science Week: Bugs & Slugs middle schoolers will get up close and personal with gastropods (snails and slugs) and arthropods (insects, arachnids and relatives), learning all about how these amazing animals go about their daily lives. This week is aimed at students entering grade 6-8. http://bit.ly/2WqJq2m

Date: Monday, July 15, 2019, 9:30am to 12:00pm Location: Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street Experience science hands-on through the lens of the two most diverse animal groups - gastropods (snails and slugs) and arthropods (insects, arachnids and relatives). Learn about the range o...

"Joe Dandrea, a meteorologist with NWS San Diego, said from the radar, the ladybug bloom appears to be about 80 miles by...
06/07/2019
High-flying ladybug swarm shows up on National Weather Service radar

"Joe Dandrea, a meteorologist with NWS San Diego, said from the radar, the ladybug bloom appears to be about 80 miles by 80 miles, but the ladybugs aren’t in a concentrated mass that size. Rather, they’re spread throughout the sky, flying at between 5,000 and 9,000 feet, with the most concentrated mass about 10 miles wide."

The ladybug bloom appears to be about 80 miles by 80 miles, but the ladybugs aren’t in a concentrated mass that size; they’re spread throughout the sky.

Museum of Comparative Zoology
06/05/2019

Museum of Comparative Zoology

We've announced the deadline for the 2019 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellowship - applications must be submitted by September 30th. More details at https://bit.ly/2ZeV7q3.

This fellowship supports postdoctoral researchers at the MCZ to pursue the discovery and formal taxonomic description of Earth’s animal species. Fellows will work under the supervision of one or more MCZ faculty-curators, who will provide office space, access to lab facilities and necessary research support. At this time, selection of fellows will give priority to candidates who work on living species.

06/05/2019
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

Massachusetts drivers: be on the lookout for turtles crossing roads!

Watch for turtles! ⚠️ 🐢 At this time of year, turtles across Massachusetts begin traveling to nesting sites. Roadway mortality is a major threat to turtles during the next couple months. If you can safely stop to help a turtle, move it off the edge of the road in the direction it was heading. Learn more: go.usa.gov/xmF4Q

#ICYMI: Visit our new Climate Change exhibit, developed in collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Envi...
06/05/2019
Climate Change

#ICYMI: Visit our new Climate Change exhibit, developed in collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, to learn about the impact our warming climate has on our environment. The exhibit explores possible solutions like solar geoengineering, offering visitors the hard facts­­ — the knowns and unknowns — about one of the greatest challenges the world faces. Don't miss the “check your knowledge” interactive station! #WorldEnvironmentDay http://bit.ly/2XrsB3S

06/04/2019

Celebrate the first day of summer with us!
Friday, June 21, 5:00–9:00 pm
Free Admission • Free Parking • Fun for All Ages
SUMMER SOLSTICE AT THE HARVARD MUSEUMS OF SCIENCE & CULTURE, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge (Harvard Square T-stop)
Event details: https://hmsc.harvard.edu/summer-solstice

Watch how much fun we had last year!

Scott Chimileski and Roberto Kolter from The Harvard Medical School, capture a community of cheese mites grazing on fung...
06/04/2019
Hundreds of harmless cheese mites | 2016 Small World In Motion Competition

Scott Chimileski and Roberto Kolter from The Harvard Medical School, capture a community of cheese mites grazing on fungi across the rind of an aged cheddar cheese. The video made finals of the Nikon Small World in Motion Competition. Stop by the #MicrobialLife gallery, curated by Scott and Roberto, to see more mites and microbes at work! #NationalCheeseDay 🧀http://bit.ly/2ERD1m5

Scott Chimileski - Hundreds of harmless cheese mites (Tyrophagus casei) bustle across a rind of cheddar cheese

We just unboxed the postcards for our 6th annual Summer Solstice event, to take place from 5-9pm on Friday, June 21st. T...
06/03/2019

We just unboxed the postcards for our 6th annual Summer Solstice event, to take place from 5-9pm on Friday, June 21st. This event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there! http://bit.ly/2EGIaxk #MondayMotivation

Paleontologists can often determine when an animal lived, what it ate, and what environment it lived in by looking at fo...
05/31/2019
hmnh.harvard.edu

Paleontologists can often determine when an animal lived, what it ate, and what environment it lived in by looking at fossils. Try this self-led, Jr. Paleontologist museum activity with the kids over the summer! Simply download these worksheets, print out at home, bring to the museum, and explore the Vertebrate Paleontology, Cenozoic Mammals, and Arthropods exhibits. http://bit.ly/30X4ooe #FossilFriday #thingskidssay #STEMkids #kidsactivities

Congratulations to Mary Salcedo #Harvard19, PhD, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and HMSC volunteer! ...
05/30/2019
SACNAS Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos & Native Americans in Science

Congratulations to Mary Salcedo #Harvard19, PhD, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and HMSC volunteer! 🦋

“It’s this beautiful place where people can completely be themselves, be their identity, and see other scientists like them." - Dr. Mary Salcedo, SACNISTA & recent Harvard University grad

We're honored to be part of your journey Mary! See you at #2019SACNAS!

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/05/ph-d-grad-found-love-for-insects-swimming-mentoring-at-harvard/

Happy #WorldOtterDay! Otters are considered very intelligent, and playful. Stop by with your significant otter, friends,...
05/29/2019

Happy #WorldOtterDay! Otters are considered very intelligent, and playful. Stop by with your significant otter, friends, or family. We have examples of a Neotropical otter, Giant otter (both in the South America gallery), Sea otter (Great Mammal Hall), and the local North American river otter (in New England Forests). We hope to see you splashing around in the galleries soon!

We are proud to be a participating museum in the #BlueStarMuseums program in collaboration with the @NationalEndowmentfo...
05/27/2019

We are proud to be a participating museum in the #BlueStarMuseums program in collaboration with the @NationalEndowmentfortheArts for the 10th year anniversary of the program! Enjoy free admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History & the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology for active-duty military and their families with proper ID. Which Blue Star Museums are on your list? Find participating museums by zip code or state here: http://bit.ly/2QncDoH #MemorialDayWeekend

We are honored to be included in this article about #climatechange focused museum exhibits in the New England area, as f...
05/26/2019

We are honored to be included in this article about #climatechange focused museum exhibits in the New England area, as featured in the latest issue of Art New England Magazine: http://bit.ly/2VQkyfa

Dan Yaeger, Executive Director of the New England Museum Association, says, "Only a few years ago, it seemed that climate change was an issue on the distant horizon. It was abstract, theoretical, something for future generations to wrestle with ... .The topic has vaulted to a high priority in our national conversation. Museums, especially those in New England, are answering calls to advance the conversation in meaningful ways." #newenglandmuseums #artnewengland #naturalhistorymuseum

What a gorgeous stretch of New England weather we are having! #harvardinspring 🌷🌳
05/25/2019

What a gorgeous stretch of New England weather we are having! #harvardinspring 🌷🌳

Can you guess if this is an image of a coastline from our Climate Change exhibit, or a gemstone? 💎 #NationalScavenger...
05/24/2019

Can you guess if this is an image of a coastline from our Climate Change exhibit, or a gemstone? 💎 #NationalScavengerHuntDay

A gentle giant. This vegetarian turtle, "Stupendemys geographical," is the largest turtle species ever discovered. Our s...
05/23/2019

A gentle giant. This vegetarian turtle, "Stupendemys geographical," is the largest turtle species ever discovered. Our shell in the Romer Hall of Paleontology measures 7 feet long, and was found in the Urumaco site in Venezuela in 1972. The turtle lived about 6 million years ago in freshwater rivers and lakes. Come see this guy anytime! https://hmnh.harvard.edu/romer-hall #worldturtleday

One of the great joys of working in a museum is discovering some of the rich stories behind pieces in a collection. This...
05/22/2019
This is the world's rarest form of gold. New clues are revealing why.

One of the great joys of working in a museum is discovering some of the rich stories behind pieces in a collection. This National Geographic article focuses on one extremely rare specimen in the Mineralogical & Geological Museum (one of the three Harvard collections we highlight for public viewing). Read on—it’s a good story!

Visit our large Earth & Planetary Sciences gallery: https://hmnh.harvard.edu/earth-planetary-sciences-gallery

#wiregold #goldspecimens #raregold #minerals

More than 130 years after its discovery, scientists just got their first high-tech peek at the unexpected crystal structure inside the Ram's Horn.

In this video Professor Moorcroft tells us about how forest-based ecosystems respond to climate change. Thanks to the Ha...
05/22/2019
Moorcroft, Paul

In this video Professor Moorcroft tells us about how forest-based ecosystems respond to climate change. Thanks to the Harvard University Center for the Environment for creating this informative overview! See more on the impact of climate change on our environment in the new exhibit on the 3rd floor of the museum. http://bit.ly/2YGp6qq #BiodiversityDay

Stunning spruce seed cones in the Arnold Arboretum's Conifer Collection. Read on to find out why it's so rare to see the...
05/21/2019

Stunning spruce seed cones in the Arnold Arboretum's Conifer Collection. Read on to find out why it's so rare to see them when walking by a spruce tree. Nature's forms are endlessly interesting.

This week in the Conifer Collection at the Arnold Arboretum, you can catch a fleeting view of spruce (seed) cones emerging from the tightly packed winter buds. Young spruce cones, like most conifer cones when they emerge from a bud, are dramatic shades of red, purple, pink, and even yellow. If this seems surprising, given how often you have walked by spruces and other conifers in the spring without seeing these colorful young cones, there is a good explanation.

Most conifers produce two types of cones, pollen cones (male function) and seed cones (female function) on individual trees. Seed cones tend to inhabit the upper portions of the tree, so that over time, as a spruce, for example, reaches for the sky, you are less and less likely to see any of the amazingly colored seed cones anywhere near eye level. Of course, tons of pollen cones can be easily found at human heights.

For a fantastic opportunity to see magnificent young conifer seed cones at eye level, head to the Yezo spruce, Picea jezoensis (502-77*B) in the conifer collection. This small tree has loads of cones right now and I am certain you will find the effect dramatic. While there, note that the lower branches (very close to the ground) only have pollen cones, while seed cones are present on the uppermost shoots. Evidence that female function moves up in conifers!

“It should serve as yet another warning that yes, our local actions can have long-distance effects,” Thomas Ballator...
05/20/2019
How Our Toothbrushes Are Littering Paradise

“It should serve as yet another warning that yes, our local actions can have long-distance effects,” Thomas Ballatore, a teaching fellow at Harvard University who has studied plastic pollution and was not involved in this study, said by email.

We no longer use plastic admission tags in response to this worldwide concern (among other in-house efforts to reduce single-use plastics).

A new survey of remote islands off the coast of Australia found mountains of plastic weighing as much as a blue whale.

05/20/2019

After a long winter nap, our honeybee observation hive is humming again in the arthropod gallery, thanks to Greg Morrow & the Harvard Undergraduate Beekeepers. Stop by and watch worker bees make comb, gear up to produce honey, and provide for their queen!

According to Massachusetts Beekeepers Association the main purpose of #WorldBeeDay is to have at least one day devoted to raising awareness around the world about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind. It is also an opportunity to discuss bees as part of a larger picture on bee conservation, sustainable farming, and the global drive to combat hunger.

Bengal tigers from South Asia are on the wildlife endangered list. In the Indian subcontinent, #tigers inhabit tropical ...
05/17/2019

Bengal tigers from South Asia are on the wildlife endangered list.

In the Indian subcontinent, #tigers inhabit tropical moist evergreen forests, tropical dry forests, tropical moist deciduous forests, mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests, and alluvial grasslands.

Help save this amazing species on #EndangeredSpeciesDay by standing up to poaching, and deforestation of animal habitats.

Take a #studybreak from exams and get lost in the museum. Only one more day! #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #harvardinsprin...
05/17/2019

Take a #studybreak from exams and get lost in the museum. Only one more day! #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #harvardinspring

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
05/16/2019

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

It's National Love a Tree Day!

Laura Mele (Arboretum horticulturist) and Chris Copeland (greenhouse horticultural technologist) love trees, shown here planting a paperbark maple (Acer griseum.)

There are more than 15,000 trees at the Arboretum to enjoy on Love a Tree Day, and every day.

(Photos of mature paperbark maple.)

#loveatree

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
05/16/2019

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Banker and philanthropist, David Rockefeller collected beetles across the world, building a collection of more than 150,000 specimens! #RainbowMW #MuseumWeek #MuseumWeek2019

Come to our #summersolstice party on Friday, June 21st! Flower crowns, circus performers, free admission: what's not to ...
05/15/2019

Come to our #summersolstice party on Friday, June 21st! Flower crowns, circus performers, free admission: what's not to like? 🌞#PlayMW

Make your own flower crown: a popular activity at our annual Summer Solstice event on June 21! #PlayMW #MuseumWeek #MuseumWeek2019

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
05/14/2019

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

One of our favorite secrets or behind-the-scenes work is Scott Fulton's important job as the #GlassFlowers conservator. Here he is delicately preparing a water lily model to be photographed.

#SecretsMW #MuseumWeek #museumweek2019

Photo by Stephanie Mitchell, @Harvard

Don't underestimate triangle-weaver spiders!"When the spider releases the coiled anchoring line, the arachnid rockets fo...
05/14/2019
This Spider Uses a Silk Slingshot to Hurl Itself at Prey

Don't underestimate triangle-weaver spiders!

"When the spider releases the coiled anchoring line, the arachnid rockets forward with astonishing speed…acceleration of 773 meters per second squared. That equates to a dizzying 79 g’s. If sustained that acceleration would more than wallop a human. Fighter pilots, for example, can pull about 9 g’s before passing out."

Visit our small Orb-Weavers exhibit to learn more about weavers: https://bit.ly/2yx5Dy3

#spiders #spiderwebs #arachnids #weaverspiders

At first glance, the triangle-weaver spider builds a web like any other spider. But once an insect hits that web, something damn near logic-defying happens.

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
05/13/2019

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Traditional 20th-century women’s blouses of Panama’s Kuna people include reverse appliqué textile panels called molas. Sometimes embroidered, molas feature the natural world and daily life in original ways, creating statements of Indigenous identity. #WomenInCulture #MuseumWeek

Address

26 Oxford St
Cambridge, MA
02138

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

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(617) 495-3045

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