Situated on the sprawling grounds of Cambridge’s Harvard University, the Harvard Museum of Natural History features a combination of the most exciting specimens from the university’s three other natural history museums. From the permanent exhibitions that showcase the mind-boggling diversity of life that this planet holds, to public lectures and special events where visitors can learn about natural history in even more depth, it is easy to see why this is the most frequently visited out of all of Harvard University’s museums.
Africa, Asia & America
Three of the permanent exhibits at the museum focus on specific geographical areas; Africa, Asia and Central and South America. Each of these exhibits features mounted wildlife exhibits that are native to that particular region. In the Africa exhibit, visitors will be able to see lions, gorillas, a hippopotamus and rare species from the island of Madagascar, while in Asia, visitors will be greeted by a rare Indian rhinoceros, Siberian tigers, cheetahs and the clouded leopard. In the Central and South America exhibit, some of the wildlife highlights include the jaguar, tapir, sloth and an entire wall of hummingbirds.
This spring and summer exhibit will be held until November, and features different bee specimens from all over the world. Bees are absolutely vital to the survival of our planet, and this display helps to emphasize this, teaching visitors more about these incredible creatures, as well as showing off the honey-making process.
Climate Change: Our Global Experiment
Climate change is a topic that is becoming increasingly important, and this exhibit is a way for visitors to learn the facts about the issue, in order to make their own decisions about what the planet needs. The exhibit puts on display all of the latest research from the experts at Harvard, as well as other institutions around the world, and also has a simulation globe that visitors can interact with, allowing them to learn about the consequences that climate change has had, as well as what lies in store for the future.
New England Forests
The forests of New England are beautifully unique and diverse, which is exactly what this exhibit aims to celebrate. This multimedia exhibition takes a close look at the way in which New England’s forests have responded to human activity over the years, while showcasing the circle of life that lives within them, from the microscopic insects that live in forest ponds to the ecology of wolves and woodland caribou.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is home to a number of other exciting exhibits, teaching visitors all about natural history from all over the world. The museum also holds several different special events and classes for adults, from wildlife drawing sessions taught by renowned artists to fascinating talks and lectures on New England’s natural history. The museum itself is open daily, and an admission ticket also grants you access to the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, which is also worth a visit if you have some extra time to spare.