Burpee Museum of Natural History

Burpee Museum of Natural History A gem in the Rockford community since 1942, Burpee Museum of Natural History is equipped with 4 floors of engaging exhibits, suitable for the whole family!

Mission Statement: To inspire all people to engage in a lifetime of discovery and learning about the natural world, through preservation and interpretation. Proud member of Blue Star Museums. (Free admission to any active military family from Memorial Day through Labor Day)

ASTC affiliated
. General Admission Prices: Adult (13 & up) $12, Kids (4-12y/o) $10, and Toddlers (3 & under) Free! Additional fees for special exhibits my apply.

Operating as usual

Burpee Collections Sneak Peek!Owls are some of the most iconic nocturnal animals in North America capable of hunting ani...
10/27/2021

Burpee Collections Sneak Peek!

Owls are some of the most iconic nocturnal animals in North America capable of hunting animals as small as mice in the dark from the tops of trees. But how do they do it?

Some owls, like this Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) from our Biology Collection, have tufts or "ears" on top of their heads. These structures are not actually ears however and are more for display. The actual ears of an owl are positioned right behind their eyes and are covered by feathers and occasionally a valve-like structure called an operculum.

Owl ears are not all that different from human ears but they are capable of hearing at much higher frequencies than we can and they have an assortment of additional features that help to magnify the sounds of the night!

Most owls have a facial disk; an area around the face where feathers lie flat in disk-like shapes which help to amplify and guide sounds towards their ears! Their beaks are also downturned which maximizes the surface area of that facial disk. Some owls even have asymmetrical ear opening in the skulls which minimizes the amount of sounds that can slip by without them noticing!

Come learn about more Creatures of the Night and Nocturnal Adaptations at our Haunted Burpee Halloween event this Saturday from 5-8pm!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/haunted-burpee-tickets-183510463737

Burpee Collections Sneak Peek!

Owls are some of the most iconic nocturnal animals in North America capable of hunting animals as small as mice in the dark from the tops of trees. But how do they do it?

Some owls, like this Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) from our Biology Collection, have tufts or "ears" on top of their heads. These structures are not actually ears however and are more for display. The actual ears of an owl are positioned right behind their eyes and are covered by feathers and occasionally a valve-like structure called an operculum.

Owl ears are not all that different from human ears but they are capable of hearing at much higher frequencies than we can and they have an assortment of additional features that help to magnify the sounds of the night!

Most owls have a facial disk; an area around the face where feathers lie flat in disk-like shapes which help to amplify and guide sounds towards their ears! Their beaks are also downturned which maximizes the surface area of that facial disk. Some owls even have asymmetrical ear opening in the skulls which minimizes the amount of sounds that can slip by without them noticing!

Come learn about more Creatures of the Night and Nocturnal Adaptations at our Haunted Burpee Halloween event this Saturday from 5-8pm!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/haunted-burpee-tickets-183510463737

10/26/2021

Get your kiddos in the 🎃👻 holiday spirit 🎃👻 with spooky experiments sure to get their hearts racing! Follow the instructions below to try it at home. Then join us this Sunday from 12-5pm for tricks, treats, and more scary science like this!

Instructions:
1. Draw any spooky picture on a ziplock bag
2. Fill the bag with water
3. Add food coloring of your choice!
4. Sharpen a pencil. It needs to be super sharp!
5. Push the pencil through the ziplock bag

How does it work? When the pencil pushes through the bag, it creates an opening. At the same time the plastic inside the bag wraps around the pencil, making a water-tight seal and stopping the water from escaping!

For more information, visit: https://burpee.org/scary-science-treats

10/25/2021

You'll never see the museum the same again... 👻🎃

For the first time ever, we're taking you on spooky adventures throughout the museum and even into the Barnes Mansion! Step through the mansion doors into the past and hear the spooky, scary stories that have been hidden in its walls for the last 100+ years. Between the ghosts, the dimly lit safari exploration, and taxidermy demonstrations, Halloween at the museum is sure to be a frighteningly good time!

For more information and to register, visit: https://burpee.org/haunted-burpee

Happy Fossilfriday!Tullimonstrum gregarium, the notorious "Tully Monster," is one of the most iconic enigmatic fossils i...
10/22/2021

Happy Fossilfriday!

Tullimonstrum gregarium, the notorious "Tully Monster," is one of the most iconic enigmatic fossils in the world.

Found in the Carboniferous Mazon Creek Lagerstätte from Illinois (where it is the official State Fossil), this fossil, which is preserved as a stain with some amount of relief inside of iron carbonate concretions, has defied difinitive phylogenetic affinity. Over the decades since it was first discovered the Tully Monster has been argued to be a mollusk, a segmented worm, and even a vertebrate. The reason for this is the lack of clear homologous structures within Tully Monster anatomy.

This particular specimen of Tully Monster, which is on display at the Burpee Museum, was a highlight in a paper published in 2016 by Thomas Clements, et al. This team of researchers discovered that the eyes of Tully Monster contained layers of melanosomes (an organelle that is responsible for the synthesis of melanin) that were homologous with those seen in vertebrates.

This was important for several reasons. For the Tully Monster, this was a new line of evidence in support of the Tully Monster's potential affinity with vertebrates. For the greater study of phylogenetics, this discovery highlighted the potential use of preserved melanosomes as a carrier of phylogenetic signals.

Today there is still debate revolving around what exactly this 300 million year old critter is but studies like this one help us to get a little closer to understanding the Monster inside the concretion!

Happy Fossilfriday!

Tullimonstrum gregarium, the notorious "Tully Monster," is one of the most iconic enigmatic fossils in the world.

Found in the Carboniferous Mazon Creek Lagerstätte from Illinois (where it is the official State Fossil), this fossil, which is preserved as a stain with some amount of relief inside of iron carbonate concretions, has defied difinitive phylogenetic affinity. Over the decades since it was first discovered the Tully Monster has been argued to be a mollusk, a segmented worm, and even a vertebrate. The reason for this is the lack of clear homologous structures within Tully Monster anatomy.

This particular specimen of Tully Monster, which is on display at the Burpee Museum, was a highlight in a paper published in 2016 by Thomas Clements, et al. This team of researchers discovered that the eyes of Tully Monster contained layers of melanosomes (an organelle that is responsible for the synthesis of melanin) that were homologous with those seen in vertebrates.

This was important for several reasons. For the Tully Monster, this was a new line of evidence in support of the Tully Monster's potential affinity with vertebrates. For the greater study of phylogenetics, this discovery highlighted the potential use of preserved melanosomes as a carrier of phylogenetic signals.

Today there is still debate revolving around what exactly this 300 million year old critter is but studies like this one help us to get a little closer to understanding the Monster inside the concretion!

We're gearing up for our special Halloween Events on the 30th and 31st!👻 Saturday the 30th, join us for a night of terro...
10/20/2021

We're gearing up for our special Halloween Events on the 30th and 31st!👻

Saturday the 30th, join us for a night of terror as you traverse the museum with drinks, dinos and danger... Let our ghostly guide lead you through the Haunted Barnes Mansion. Travel through the Serengeti in the dark. Can you make it out alive? ⚰️
https://burpee.org/haunted-burpee

Sunday the 31st we invite you to a family friendly day of frights and fun! Take part in our mad scientist experiments and crafts. See dissections and dead things!🧠
https://burpee.org/scary-science-treats

Don't miss these scary good events! Register to take part in the fun! 🎃

We're gearing up for our special Halloween Events on the 30th and 31st!👻

Saturday the 30th, join us for a night of terror as you traverse the museum with drinks, dinos and danger... Let our ghostly guide lead you through the Haunted Barnes Mansion. Travel through the Serengeti in the dark. Can you make it out alive? ⚰️
https://burpee.org/haunted-burpee

Sunday the 31st we invite you to a family friendly day of frights and fun! Take part in our mad scientist experiments and crafts. See dissections and dead things!🧠
https://burpee.org/scary-science-treats

Don't miss these scary good events! Register to take part in the fun! 🎃

Just a 🏺clay🏺 in the life at Burpee! Our Girls in Science class made clay pinch pots, coil pots, and tiles last week! We...
10/18/2021

Just a 🏺clay🏺 in the life at Burpee! Our Girls in Science class made clay pinch pots, coil pots, and tiles last week! We learned about indigenous artist Maria Martinez, a woman who revived an ancient Pueblo pottery technique called Black-on-Black pottery. She worked with locals and museums to bring this technique back to life so we can view it today!

Join us for Girls in Science to learn about more awesome women and their impact on our world!

https://burpee.org/girls-science

Thank you to everyone who joined us for National Fossil Day yesterday! We hope you had as much fun as we did! Couldn't m...
10/17/2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for National Fossil Day yesterday! We hope you had as much fun as we did! Couldn't make it to Fossil Day? Don't worry, Burpee Museum has a bunch of awesome events for you to take part in! Make sure to join us for our future events: Haunted Burpee on October 30th, Scary Science Treats on October 31st, and Art of Hunting on November 20th! See you there!

Happy National Fossil Day 🦖🦕Come on down to the Burpee Museum to celebrate, say hello to Jane, and get a sneak peak into...
10/16/2021

Happy National Fossil Day 🦖🦕
Come on down to the Burpee Museum to celebrate, say hello to Jane, and get a sneak peak into our collections!
While you're here, visit unique stations that will teach you about dinosaur lungs, ancient creatures of Illinois, and more!

Happy FossilFriday!The Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry has yielded fossils from many different iconic Jurassic dinosau...
10/15/2021

Happy FossilFriday!

The Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry has yielded fossils from many different iconic Jurassic dinosaurs but none are more abundant than the Sauropods!

Sauropods, often referred to as "Long-Necks," were dominant in the late Jurassic ecosystem of Utah. The Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry has yielded specimens from at least three different genera: Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Camarasaurus. We may have even found evidence of a fourth: Barosaurus!

What allowed these animals to grow so large? An abundance of food and very light bones that make up the spine definitely helped! Why did they grow so large? Well lets just say its hard for meat-eating dinosaurs like Allosaurus to bully you around when you are as massive as an adult sauropod!

This femur (upper leg bone) from a Diplodocus found at the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry may seem huge, but in fact it is only a subadult! This bone is just over 4 feet tall... if it were fully grown... it could reach 6 feet! Just this one bone!

If you want to see how you size up against one of our Sauropods from the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, don't forget to sign-up for an exclusive tour with one of our paleontologists through our Paleontology Collections during our National Fossil Day event this Saturday the 16th from 10am to 5pm!

Fossil Day registration:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fossil-day-tickets-181968230877

Collections Tour registration:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/collections-tour-fossil-day-tickets-182003105187

Happy FossilFriday!

The Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry has yielded fossils from many different iconic Jurassic dinosaurs but none are more abundant than the Sauropods!

Sauropods, often referred to as "Long-Necks," were dominant in the late Jurassic ecosystem of Utah. The Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry has yielded specimens from at least three different genera: Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Camarasaurus. We may have even found evidence of a fourth: Barosaurus!

What allowed these animals to grow so large? An abundance of food and very light bones that make up the spine definitely helped! Why did they grow so large? Well lets just say its hard for meat-eating dinosaurs like Allosaurus to bully you around when you are as massive as an adult sauropod!

This femur (upper leg bone) from a Diplodocus found at the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry may seem huge, but in fact it is only a subadult! This bone is just over 4 feet tall... if it were fully grown... it could reach 6 feet! Just this one bone!

If you want to see how you size up against one of our Sauropods from the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, don't forget to sign-up for an exclusive tour with one of our paleontologists through our Paleontology Collections during our National Fossil Day event this Saturday the 16th from 10am to 5pm!

Fossil Day registration:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fossil-day-tickets-181968230877

Collections Tour registration:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/collections-tour-fossil-day-tickets-182003105187

🐢 Fast facts about slow creatures 🐢 Turtles have been around for over 200 million years! Throughout all this time, their...
10/14/2021

🐢 Fast facts about slow creatures 🐢
Turtles have been around for over 200 million years! Throughout all this time, their appearance has not changed drastically. In fact, turtle fossils found from the Triassic period have shells like their modern counterparts!

What makes turtle shells so special? For starters, turtle shells are attached to their body! The shell and vertebrae of turtles are fused, meaning turtles can feel when we touch their shells! To a turtle, our touch would feel similar to rubbing our fingernails together.

Stop by the museum this Saturday to see turtles native to Illinois and learn more cool fossil facts! Don't forget to fill out your volunteer application to hold, care for, and teach others about these awesome reptiles!

For more volunteer information visit: https://burpee.org/volunteer-burpee

Burpee Collections Sneak Peek!We have a LOT more than just dinosaurs! This is an articulated foot to Mycterosaurus; a va...
10/13/2021

Burpee Collections Sneak Peek!

We have a LOT more than just dinosaurs! This is an articulated foot to Mycterosaurus; a varanopid synapsid that lived during Permian Period 290-272 million years ago!

Mycterosaurus was a 2-foot long carnivore that superficially resembled modern day monitor lizards but it was actually a synapsid not a lizard. Synapsids have often been referred to as "mammal-like reptiles" but this description has largely been abandoned as synapsids are no longer considered to be reptiles. They are differentiated from reptiles by many features including a temporal fenestra; an opening in the skull behind the eye. Mycterosaurus lived alongside other Permian icons such as Captorhinus, Edaphosaurus, and Dimetrodon!

This Mycterosaurus foot is just one specimen from a much larger collection of Permian material housed in the Paleontology Collections here at the Burpee Museum. This collection was collected back in 2008 by Burpee paleontologists from spoil piles in a limestone quarry from Oklahoma!

For National Fossil Day, this Saturday the 16th, we will have a Sneak Peek into the Paleontology Collections available to everyone and if you sign-up, you can get a tour with one of our paleontologists through the collections to see more specimens like this Mycterosaurus for yourself- so don't forget to sign-up!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fossil-day-tickets-181968230877

Burpee Collections Sneak Peek!

We have a LOT more than just dinosaurs! This is an articulated foot to Mycterosaurus; a varanopid synapsid that lived during Permian Period 290-272 million years ago!

Mycterosaurus was a 2-foot long carnivore that superficially resembled modern day monitor lizards but it was actually a synapsid not a lizard. Synapsids have often been referred to as "mammal-like reptiles" but this description has largely been abandoned as synapsids are no longer considered to be reptiles. They are differentiated from reptiles by many features including a temporal fenestra; an opening in the skull behind the eye. Mycterosaurus lived alongside other Permian icons such as Captorhinus, Edaphosaurus, and Dimetrodon!

This Mycterosaurus foot is just one specimen from a much larger collection of Permian material housed in the Paleontology Collections here at the Burpee Museum. This collection was collected back in 2008 by Burpee paleontologists from spoil piles in a limestone quarry from Oklahoma!

For National Fossil Day, this Saturday the 16th, we will have a Sneak Peek into the Paleontology Collections available to everyone and if you sign-up, you can get a tour with one of our paleontologists through the collections to see more specimens like this Mycterosaurus for yourself- so don't forget to sign-up!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fossil-day-tickets-181968230877

Those are some 🌊weird waves!🌊 Our homeschool class made awesome crafts this week to view different forms of waves we can...
10/12/2021

Those are some 🌊weird waves!🌊

Our homeschool class made awesome crafts this week to view different forms of waves we can see in our world! We looked at how energy is used to create waves, different light spectrums, and sound!

All our fall classes offer exciting experiments and crafts like this for students to take part in! Check out what Burpee has to offer, and give us a wave! 👋

https://burpee.org/fall-and-winter-classes

Address

737 N. Main Street
Rockford, IL
61103

The Rockford Mass Transit Bus #14, N. Main line, stops near the front of the museum. Visit http://www.rmtd.org/where.php for more information.

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

(815) 965-3433

Website

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Mission Statement: To inspire all people to engage in a lifetime of discovery and learning about the natural world, through preservation and interpretation. Proud member of Blue Star Museums. (Free admission to any active military family from Memorial Day through Labor Day) ASTC affiliated . General Admission Prices: Adult (13 & up) $10, Kids (4-12y/o) $9, and Toddlers (3 & under) Free! Additional fees for special exhibits my apply.

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Comments

Melting Snowflake
On the website it says that members are welcome to come in during the week, so we have to preregister for that or do we just come in?
Our first visit October 2015, and our most recent visit yesterday. Is it just me or is that Edmontosaurus leg bone getting smaller?
She was so happy to be back at one of her favorite places. We missed you Burpee friends, and we can't wait to see you again soon!
My kids found this skull in a nearby creek. Could you help us solve what animal it might be? Some big teeth!!
Our sensory bottles with oil and water
Are you live today yet? I am not seeing it and it is 10:35 😭
Paleo Fest was really interesting and informative. Loved the museum too!
We at the Native American Awareness Committee are Rebuilding & Recovering following a flood & the loss of Our Founder/Event Coordinator "Mac" Spotted Horse. In True Native Spirit we are Honoring his Memory by Continuing his Dream of Promoting & Educating Native American Culture to Rockford & the Surrounding Areas. We are Returning to Beattie Park for Our 24th Year to Host the Honoring The Mounds Gathering. Honoring Native American Culture & Promoting Awareness of the Significance of the Native Burial Mounds located at Beattie Park. As Always this Family Friendly Event is FREE & Open to the Public Drumming, Dancing, Live Demonstrations, Children's Arts & Crafts, Vendors, Food, Raffles & Much More. Come Join Us to Celebrate Rockford's Rich Native American Culture Past & Present! SATURDAY AUGUST 10TH 10 AM TO 4 PM BEATTIE PARK 400 BLOCK NORTH MAIN STREET ROCKFORD, IL 61107
The SCIENCE of JURASSIC PARK Saturday October 27 at 2-3 PM at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art [Elmhurst, IL] This unique presentation by Donald Baumgartner, M.S. examines the science facts and myths behind the movies. For optimum experience, watch the movies before coming and bring your fossils for identification after the show. Real dinosaur fossils will be available for sale. Lecture – 2 p.m. – 75 minutes – Ages 10 and Up Fee: $8.00 per person; Museum Members Free Reservations Recommended call the Museum at 630.833.1616 for reservations
Are there any fall or winter classes? The website still only lists summer classes