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.

Gaze upon winter's beauty with these gorgeous photographs from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (taken by Rose...
01/02/2020
Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Gaze upon winter's beauty with these gorgeous photographs from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (taken by Rose Lincoln).

Rose Lincoln, Harvard staff photographer created a beautiful photo essay "Embracing the beauty of the season at the Arnold Arboretum." Take a look at her gorgeous images in the Harvard Gazette.

A great tip for your improving your health in the #NewYear comes—surprisingly—from this lecture on baboons from Professo...
01/01/2020

A great tip for your improving your health in the #NewYear comes—surprisingly—from this lecture on baboons from Professor Susan Alberts: “When you go to your doctor and she or he says, you should smoke less, and eat less, and drink less, perhaps she should also say, 'and tend to your social relationships.'” —Professor Susan Alberts, Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University http://bit.ly/AdversityBelongSurvivalAmongBaboons

Have you seen us on the T? If you spot one of our new posters let us know by posting your pic with the hashtag #HMNHMBTA...
12/30/2019

Have you seen us on the T? If you spot one of our new posters let us know by posting your pic with the hashtag #HMNHMBTA! #yourfavoritespot #MBTA

Unfortunately it may be rainy this New Year's Eve. Bring the kids to the museum for our #HarvardAnimalTalk Dr. Dolittle ...
12/29/2019

Unfortunately it may be rainy this New Year's Eve. Bring the kids to the museum for our #HarvardAnimalTalk Dr. Dolittle scavenger hunt, written up in the Globe. http://bit.ly/2Q5V8e6 #newyear #boston

Although it's hard for US to get out of bed on a #caturday in the winter big cats in the wild don't tend to hibernate fo...
12/28/2019

Although it's hard for US to get out of bed on a #caturday in the winter big cats in the wild don't tend to hibernate for the winter. Snow leopards, native to Central Asia, love the snow! However, they still need their thick padded paws and fluffy tails to keep warm. Snow leopards enjoy using their tails as giant scarves they can wrap around themselves to stay toasty. This guy is from our Asia gallery.

Here is a fun project from Sunny Katseanes, Curator at @ZooIdahoFalls via idahoaskascientist.com:

How do fur coats keep animals warm when it’s cold outside? Trapped air in fur blocks the flow of body heat into the cold.

Materials: cotton balls, 3 ziploc bags, ice cubes, water

1. Place 12-15 cotton balls in one bag and zip in shut.
2. Place several ice cubes in the second bag. Add 1/2 cup water. Zip the bag shut.
3. Put the cotton ball bag on the palm of one hand, then place the ice bag on top. Does your hand feel cold?
4. Remove the bags and put the empty bag on your palm. Put the ice bag on top of it. Does your hand feel cold?
5. Answer: How are the cotton balls like fur?

Share your answers here if you'd like. Happy Caturday!

We are pleased to announce our participation in the upcoming Science Friday & WBUR 90.9 FM sponsored #SciArt Celebration...
12/27/2019

We are pleased to announce our participation in the upcoming Science Friday & WBUR 90.9 FM sponsored #SciArt Celebration on January 16th, 2020. The Create Curiosity Fair is a great way to explore art-influenced science and science-influenced art projects. Plus, you can get a chance to create something for yourselves! Comic book artists, science communicators, immersive artmakers, and research scientists will be showing the interactive pieces they’ve made and will be giving hands-on demonstrations throughout the evening. We hope to see you there! http://bit.ly/CreateCuriosity

Happy holidays from the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture!Find this purple fluorite from the Harvard Mineralogical & ...
12/25/2019

Happy holidays from the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture!

Find this purple fluorite from the Harvard Mineralogical & Geological Museum on the third floor in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery (case 33). Creator: B. DeCamp / Location: Elmwood Mine, Carthage, Smith, Tennessee, USA.

As you hop planes, trains and automobiles to make your way to your holiday destination it may make you feel better to th...
12/24/2019

As you hop planes, trains and automobiles to make your way to your holiday destination it may make you feel better to think about how far hummingbirds travel. Each winter they leave the U.S. or Canada in search of more abundant food sources in Mexico or Central America. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is known to travel 500 miles in less than a day. Other migratory hummingbirds include the Rufous Hummingbird, the Black-chinned Hummingbird, and Allen's Hummingbird. Come see our wall of hummingbird diversity in the Central & South America gallery! #traveltuesday

Happy #mineralmonday! If December is your birth month you can can have your pick of beautiful, blue stones! Turquoise, Z...
12/23/2019

Happy #mineralmonday! If December is your birth month you can can have your pick of beautiful, blue stones! Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite, and Blue Topaz are all birthstones for the last month of the year. Provided by the Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard, they can all be found in the Earth & Planetary Sciences gallery.

Happy #FossilFriday! Javier Ortega-Hernández, Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Harvard Museum of Comparative ...
12/20/2019
Fossilized Brains Found in Ancient Bug-Like Creatures

Happy #FossilFriday! Javier Ortega-Hernández, Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, explains to LiveScience how fossilized brains may have been found in ancient, bug-like Cambrian fossils. This represents a a possible breakthrough in the ongoing debate on whether nervous tissue can be fossilized. "What we are dealing with in the fossil record are exceptional circumstances. This is not common — this is super, super rare," said Ortega-Hernández. The full study was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the The Royal Society B. http://bit.ly/2EQDPY9

New evidence of preserved brain tissue from the Cambrian period counters arguments that nervous tissue cannot be fossilized.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by your holiday to-do list take a page from the life of a #tardigrade. They can survive an...
12/18/2019

If you're feeling overwhelmed by your holiday to-do list take a page from the life of a #tardigrade. They can survive anything, even outer space! Come see the cute crystal tardigrade in our Microbial Life exhibit, curated by Scott Chimileski, PhD and Dr. Roberto Kolter. #WednesdayMotivation #WednesdayWisdom #waterbear

Have you ever wished that you could talk with other animals? Dr. Dolittle, the imaginary character in the Hugh Lofting b...
12/14/2019

Have you ever wished that you could talk with other animals? Dr. Dolittle, the imaginary character in the Hugh Lofting book The Story of Doctor Dolittle, could do just that! We just can't wait any longer to share the news about a special, Dr. Dolittle inspired museum activity we dreamed up.

Over the winter break, starting NEXT Saturday (12/21), you and your kiddos can join us for the Animal Talk Scavenger Hunt. Simply grab a sheet from the admission desk or The Shop at HMNH and use the clues to find six of his animal friends in the museum and learn how that animal really communicates. Then, like Doctor Dolittle, tell us what you think that animal is saying by drawing or writing on the sheet.

When you are finished take your sheet to The Shop at HMNH and receive a small gift! Talk back and tag us with your answers, photos, and drawings using the hashtag #HarvardAnimalTalk.

This activity is offered every day except 12/24/10, 12/25/19, and 1/1/20, as we are closed for the holidays. Regular admission rates apply. Hope to see you in the galleries! http://bit.ly/HMNHAnimalTalk

12/13/2019
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Our partner museum the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology is celebration #NationalHorseDay. Explore more about Lakota culture and Nokota horses in the Wiyohpiyata exhibit on the 1st floor of the Peabody, 11 Divinity Ave., #CambridgeMA (just steps away from Harvard Square).

Happy National Horse Day! These rare Nokota stallions are a living link to the horses that Sitting Bull and other Lakotas surrendered to the U.S. military in 1881. Although blue roan is a rare color, it is still dominant among Nokota horses. Learn more about these horses and their relationship with Plains warriors in the exhibition Wiyohpiyata: Lakota Images of the Contested West, co-curated by Castle McLaughlin and Lakota artist Butch Thunderhawk. http://bit.ly/36Gg40B

Another gorgeous dusting of snow ❄️ on the Harvard campus.
12/11/2019

Another gorgeous dusting of snow ❄️ on the Harvard campus.

We will have special visitors from the Art + Bio Collaborative & MassArt in the museum tomorrow (Tuesday). There will be...
12/09/2019

We will have special visitors from the Art + Bio Collaborative & MassArt in the museum tomorrow (Tuesday). There will be pop-up activities in the galleries 10am-12:30pm. We hope to see you there! #SciArt #BioArt

Have you seen our new graphics while traveling on the T? If you spot one tag us or use #HMNHMBTA to share your pictures ...
12/06/2019

Have you seen our new graphics while traveling on the T? If you spot one tag us or use #HMNHMBTA to share your pictures out in the wild! #RedLine #OrangeLine #MBTA

David Donovan is a veteran, and dedicated volunteer at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. For over 14 years he ha...
12/05/2019

David Donovan is a veteran, and dedicated volunteer at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. For over 14 years he has been volunteering at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. You may spot him during the week in Great Mammal Hall, New England Forests, or Glass Flowers! David was a Biology teacher for many years and loves meeting with visitors to answer their burning questions about anatomy, biology, and for the Glass Flowers, “are they REALLY glass”?

David first visited the museum as a student from Suffolk as part of a Marine Biology class field trip. He fell in love with the mammals, and the rest is history! You can find him in the summer at the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center on the Cape Cod National Seashore where he works as a park ranger and runs a class on medicinal plants called, “Healers & invaders.”

His favorite exhibit in the museum is the three-toed sloth because they have extra vertebrae than humans. His other favorite specimen is in the Glass Flowers gallery. Can you find the fly? When he’s preparing to be in the Glass Flowers gallery he likes to research a plant he can speak to visitors about. This week’s plant is Spiderwort, which also grows on Cape Cod. Thank you to David for his amazing work; here’s to many more years! #InternationalVolunteerDay

This #GivingTuesday, support the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture and get your holiday shopping done! Give the gift ...
12/03/2019

This #GivingTuesday, support the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture and get your holiday shopping done! Give the gift of experiences to friends and family, and support new exhibitions, free admission for low-income families, and hands-on activities for schoolchildren. Your gift expands access to lifelong learning. We have a special deal running: get two additional months free with all new memberships. Thank you for your support! http://bit.ly/BecomeAMemberHMSC

Give your loved ones an experience this holiday season! A gift membership to the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture wi...
11/29/2019

Give your loved ones an experience this holiday season! A gift membership to the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture will provide 12 months of exploration, learning, and discovery at our four museums. This #BlackFriday we have a special deal: get two additional months free with all new memberships. An HMSC membership offers behind-the-scenes member-only events, free admission, special discounts, and supports world-class exhibits and educational programing. Thank you for your support! http://bit.ly/BecomeAMemberHMSC / Image by Roger Metcalf

Meet the neighbors, spotted near the museum.Plus, “People don’t realize that some dinosaurs were actually turkey-sized …...
11/27/2019
Harvard’s thriving wild turkey population

Meet the neighbors, spotted near the museum.

Plus, “People don’t realize that some dinosaurs were actually turkey-sized … the way wild turkeys walk and the way they are shaped just remind me so much of some of these now-extinct dinosaurs.” -- Scott Edwards, Harvard ornithologist.

Like many communities around the state, Harvard has a burgeoning wild turkey population.

Don't miss it! Our partner museum, the Harvard Semitic Museum, will present a special augmented reality activity this Fr...
11/26/2019

Don't miss it! Our partner museum, the Harvard Semitic Museum, will present a special augmented reality activity this Friday from 12-2pm. Free and open to the public.

If you aren't into crowded shopping, and need to work off that Thanksgiving dinner, take a walk to the Harvard Semitic Museum for a special #BlackFriday activity: Dreaming the Sphinx in #AugmentedReality.

Between the paws of the great Sphinx is the Dream Stela, a monument which describes how a young prince fell asleep in the shadow of the Sphinx by the Giza Pyramids. The Sphinx promised young prince Thutmose IV the throne if he would clear away the sand covering its body.

On 11/29 from 12pm-2pm visitors to the Harvard Semitic Museum will be able to experience the iconic Sphinx and its Dream Stela in 3D augmented reality. A gallery facilitator will use a tablet to allow the Sphinx to loom above and around a real life-size cast of the monumental stela.

Watch a demo here: http://bit.ly/DreamingtheSphinx

Free and open to the public. Harvard Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.

For the scrapbooks: Did you know that the Kronosaurus, a favorite in the museum, was first found in Australia, on accide...
11/22/2019
The Kronostory of the Kronosaurus | Magazine | The Harvard Crimson

For the scrapbooks: Did you know that the Kronosaurus, a favorite in the museum, was first found in Australia, on accident, by a grad student?

Jessica Cundiff from the Museum of Comparative Zoology tells the The Harvard Crimson the tale of its discovery and reconstruction. “It’s certainly really loved,” Cundiff says. http://bit.ly/35tnL9E #FossilFriday

Edward Lear was best known for the nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat, but he was also an accomplished painter of na...
11/20/2019

Edward Lear was best known for the nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat, but he was also an accomplished painter of natural life, and an adventurous world traveler. This Thursday, Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will discuss the remarkable life and paintings of this beloved children’s writer.

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA: Thursday, 11/21, 6pm. FREE & open to the public. Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Livestream available at 6pm on our page. http://bit.ly/335ympG

11/20/2019
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Join us at 6 PM on Thursday, November 21 as Robert McCracken Peck discusses the remarkable life and natural history paintings of Edward Lear (1812–1888).

Warinner studies the dental plaque--yes that plaque-- from monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, Neanderthals, and a diverse r...
11/20/2019
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Warinner studies the dental plaque--yes that plaque-- from monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, Neanderthals, and a diverse range of humans to understand more about the microbiome, and more.

Harvard archaeologist Christina Warinner says studying ancient dental calculus offers insights into diets, disease, dairying, and women’s roles.

http://ow.ly/rfQ050xfTL6

Happy #HumpDay! The name of the nilgai antelope comes from the Hindi word 'nilgaw' which means "blue bull," referring to...
11/20/2019

Happy #HumpDay! The name of the nilgai antelope comes from the Hindi word 'nilgaw' which means "blue bull," referring to the color of the adult male. Hindus revere the nilgai as sacred and associate it with the cow, the mother animal in Hinduism.

The nilgai antelope evolved during the Tertiary geological period and fossil evidence supports its presence as early as the late Miocene period. Though nilgai females lack horns, historic relatives of the antelope had horned females.

The hairs, typically 9 inches long, are fragile and brittle. Males have thicker skin on their head and neck that protect them in fights.

Though generally quiet, nilgai have been reported to make short guttural grunts when alarmed, and females to make clicking noises when nursing young. Alarmed juveniles give out a coughing roar that lasts half a second, but can be heard by herds less than 1,600 feet away. Source: EOL.org.

Thanks to @bostonmagazine for mentioning us as one of "The 12 Best Museums in Boston"! http://bit.ly/2QzGD2W
11/19/2019

Thanks to @bostonmagazine for mentioning us as one of "The 12 Best Museums in Boston"! http://bit.ly/2QzGD2W

Robert McCracken Peck's FREE talk on Edward Lear is this Thursday, 11/21, 6pm in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford ...
11/18/2019
Edward Lear 1812-1888

Robert McCracken Peck's FREE talk on Edward Lear is this Thursday, 11/21, 6pm in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., #CambridgeMA. We hope to see you there! #Livestream

Don't forget: On November 21, Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will be giving a free lecture on The Remarkable Nature of Edward Lear at 6:00pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. This event will be livestreamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) page and the HMSC website. A recording of this program will be available on the Harvard Museum of Natural History Lecture Videos page approximately three weeks after the lecture.
http://nonsenselit.com/2019/11/18/the-remarkable-nature-of-edward-lear/

More on Narwhal, the puppy with a tail between his eyes."The likeliest explanation for how Narwhal got his face tail is ...
11/18/2019
How Narwhal the ‘Unicorn’ Puppy May Have Grown a Tail on His Head

More on Narwhal, the puppy with a tail between his eyes.

"The likeliest explanation for how Narwhal got his face tail is not all that cute, said Margret Casal, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The tail is probably Narwhal’s parasitic twin."

And if you want to see a real #Narwhal, come visit our Great Mammal Hall! https://hmnh.harvard.edu/great-mammal-hall

The likeliest explanation is not all that cute, some scientists say. But Narwhal is still very cute.

Congrats to these three citizen scientists!
11/15/2019

Congrats to these three citizen scientists!

Kudos to these three turtle heroes--Elena Stuntz,Quin and Shay Bernard--for reporting a live Kemp's ridley sea turtle on Great Island in Wellfleet yesterday! That turtle is en route to the New England Aquarium. Thanks, girls!

We always have our eyes open for interesting art/science connections. Here, New York Times columnist Natalie Angier look...
11/14/2019
Ultra-Black Is the New Black

We always have our eyes open for interesting art/science connections. Here, New York Times columnist Natalie Angier looks at what ultra-black is and why it matters. She touches on everything from carbon nanotubes and yellow diamonds to ultra-black bird feathers and peacock spider hairs. Our museum is rich with examples of art-science. Come visit!

Scientists are setting dark traps from which light cannot escape. But nature already has built a few of her own.

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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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