The Delaware Museum of Natural History welcomes visitors to explore far away jungles and seas and the Delmarva habitats found near our own backyard. In addition to several special exhibits on national tour each year, highlights on permanent display include:
The Delaware Museum of Natural History’s Dinosaur Gallery showcases the only dinosaurs on permanent display in the state. The towering dinosaur skeletons, Tuojiangosaurus and Yangchuanosaurus, represent Asian relatives of the familiar North American dinosaurs, Stegosaurus and Allosaurus, respectively. A Parasaurolophus head and Archaeopteryx are also on display. The Dinosaur Gallery includes the Science in Action Lab, where volunteers prepare real paleontology specimens for study and answer visitor questions.
Hall of Birds
Dinosaurs are a perfect fit with the Museum’s extensive collection of birds, given the current theory that modern birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs. The Museum houses 118,000 bird specimens and nests in its behind-the-scenes Collections and Research Division, many of which are on permanent display for visitors. Guests can view an extinct Passenger Pigeon, 3-D dioramas, and compare the large Elephant Bird egg to that of the tiny Hummingbird.
Hall of Mammals
Displays in this section of the Museum bring mammals together from around the world: North and South America, Antarctica, Africa – as well as animals that live in Delaware streams and marshes. Nearby, visitors can listen to animals roar in the African Watering Hole, where a gnu, warthog, lion, impala, and other animals gather.
The Animal Adaptations case demonstrates how animals survive despite difficult environmental pressures, including real specimens of the black rhino, giant anteater, and cheetah.
The interactive Nature Nook is a place where young children can explore animal habitats while having fun. Step inside a cave, walk through a woodland, enter an eagle's nest, and lots more! Museum personnel will help facilitate interactions between children and their parents/caregivers, plus display live animals for up-close looks.
The entrance to the Shell Gallery is a simulated Australian Great Barrier Reef that delights visitors as they walk over it. Visitors can see a 500-pound Giant Clam shell, learn about scallops, nautilus, and other mollusks, and touch a variety of real shells from our collection of more than 2 million -- which ranks among the top 15 in the United States.
A replica of a giant squid, Architeuthis dux, looms from the ceiling to greet guests as they enter the Museum.
Larry F. Scott Nature Trail
The Delaware Museum of Natural History’s Larry F. Scott Nature Trail is a mile-long path through the woodlands and wetlands behind the Museum. There are two loops: The Yellow Loop features a bird house along the way with slatted sides that visitors can see through to observe wildlife. There is also an outdoor classroom used for outdoor projects during school tours and summer camp. This loop has benches and is handicap and stroller-accessible.
The Red Loop goes through wooded areas and into wetlands further back along the Museum's property. An Eagle Scout built a bridge over the wetlands so visitors can take an up-close look at vegetation. A big overturned tree along the way is a stopping point to look for spiders, snakes, and other creatures living in the roots.
There are newly-installed maps or interpretive signs along the trail, and visitors are invited to explore the maintained trail and learn more about the environment.
The Butterfly Garden contains native plants like purple coneflowers and milkweed to help attract butterflies and other wildlife, such as hummingbirds, beetles, and caterpillars.
Darwin and Evolution
The Museum's permanent exhibit about Charles Darwin and evolution documents the scientist's life, experiences, and explanation for his groundbreaking theory. This exhibit was made possible by a grant from Crystal Trust.