This fascinating museum was established over 25 years ago and represents the public face of three research museums – the Museum of Comparative Zoology; Harvard University Herbaria and the Mineralogical Geological Museum. The museum aims to help the public understand the natural world and share with them the ongoing findings and existing collections from the three parent museums. With permanent, temporary and historical collections as well as classes and events the museum welcomes almost 200,000 visitors a year.
In the Great Mammal Hall you'll be blown away by the display of huge animal skeletons. In the South American Animals Gallery; New England Forests Gallery; Africa Gallery and the Indo-Asian Birds and Animals Gallery you can see the animals from these regions which have undergone taxidermy so you see the creatures as they actually appear in the wild. Even marine life is included in the exhibitions; visitors can see sharks, the enormous bluefin tuna fish and even the prickly porcupine fish. Together with the animal models there are interactive multimedia stations which add to the museum's educational value. Throughout these museum galleries there are multimedia displays and the animal's natural environments have been recreated to set the scene. Special lighting and effects have been employed to add to the museum's appeal.
The Vertebrate Paleontology Gallery and the Fossil Mammals Gallery are where you'll see the findings from the prehistoric era including the skeleton of a mammoth. There are video presentations giving a glimpse into current evolution research. Several galleries are lined with colorful displays of butterflies, flowers and plants from around the world. The acclaimed Glass Flowers exhibit contains more than 4,000 models of flower species created out of glass by glass artist Leopold Blaschka. There are colorful video and graphic presentations and hands-on activities. In the Minerals, Gems and Meteorites Gallery visitors are treated to displays of stunning gem stones, crystals and rock formations dating back countless years. One of the highlights is the 1,600 pound amethyst geode from Brazil. Visitors are welcome to touch the rocks and minerals. The final hall of the museum is dedicated to the climate change.
The museum holds several regular events and happenings like the Special Nature Storytime for kids and special exhibitions like the Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts and visitors can visit the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology with the same ticket ($12/$8) for no extra charge.