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  • About Us

    Who we are, our history and how to get involved
Welcome to the University Museum of Zoology

The Museum is one of Cambridge's major attractions, displaying thousands of specimens spanning the entire animal kingdom, from elephants, giant ground sloths and giraffes, to birds, reptiles, insects and molluscs. It is part of the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology and welcomes over 100,000 visitors every year. Entry to the Museum is free.

Our collections are amongst the best in the world. As well as being open for the public to enjoy, they are used for academic study by researchers and students worldwide.

The Museum holds many wonderful treasures, such as specimens discovered by the great naturalists, including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. The collection contains approximately two million items and thousands of these are on display. Changing displays and temporary exhibitions highlight unusual and significant items from the Museum's stores, such as the skeleton of the extinct Dodo.


The University Museum of Zoology and the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a grant of £1.8 million towards a total of £4.3 million needed for the redevelopment of the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. This funding has supported ambitious plans for a complete renovation of the Museum, including the construction of new stores to preserve our outstanding collections. After a five year redevelopment programme, the Museum has now re-opened with new displays, an impressive glass entrance hall showcasing our 21 metre (70 ft) long Fin whale, plus a café and a shop.

What's new at the University Museum of Zoology?

The new Whale Hall, designed especially to house our 21 metre long Fin whale, forms an impressive entrance to the Museum. The new displays make the most of the height and space in the galleries, enabling us to display specimens that have not been on public view for many years. These include the Asian elephant which sits alongside old favourites such as the giant ground sloth, giraffe and African elephant. The refurbished galleries bring the Museum into the 21st century and are designed to engage and inspire a new generation of visitors. New text tells the stories of the collections, provides information on evolution, exploration and conservation and highlights the diversity of animal life. An exciting new programme of activities and temporary exhibitions is planned, please see our What's On page for details.