Exhibit with drawers of items on left, information wheel in center, cross-section of a burrow on right

New Exhibit: Collections & Conservation

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Explore four floors of fascinating exhibits at the KU Natural History Museum, from small microbes to massive mosasaurs. Learn about the science of parasites, step back into deep time with ancient fossils including dinosaurs, and meet live insects, snakes, lizards and bees. Don't miss the Panorama, an expansive natural history exhibit depicting different biomes of the planet with a centerpiece showcasing the flora and fauna of the Great Plains, which dates to the 1893 World’s Fair. Plan your visit to the museum!

NEW: Don't miss the new Collections & Conservation exhibit on the 5th floor! Explore the relationships between endangered black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs and learn how collections-based research can support conservation and track disease.

Want to add a new layer to your visit? Schedule the new Natural History Mystery Game experience for your group, or pick up one of many Discovery Guides and Scavenger Hunts at the Visitor Services Desk. Teachers can use Exhibit Activities for a more in-depth exploration of museum exhibits, or access a variety of other Educator Resources, You can also book one of our educational School Programs in advance for your class during the school year. 

3rd Floor

On our 3rd floor, you'll find fossils and so much more! Explore the living Paleo Garden, view the Kansas Silvisaurus dinosaur, step back millions of years in time to the Carboniferous or the Oligocene/Eocene, see KU Paleontology Up Close and discover live insects in Bugtown. 

Map — Download a map of the 3rd floor (pdf)

Amenities: Water fountains and bottle filler station. Restrooms. Accessible entrance to elevator. Accessible ramp to/from 3rd floor galleries.

Thumbnail List

  • Xiphactinus fossil


    Learn about mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, Xiphactinus and more

  • Illustration of a lemur about to jump with close up of ankle bones

    KU Paleontology Up Close

    Explore smaller plant and animal fossils from KU Paleontology

  • A bright green, fuzzy fern under a bell jar at Paleo Garden exhibit

    Paleo Garden

    Explore the evolutionary history of plant life

4th Floor

View the renowned Panorama, created for the 1893 World's Fair — one room where you can visit the Midwest, the Southwest, canyons, a rainforest, and the Arctic! Don't forget to look up in the lobby at the famous 45-foot-long Bunker mosasaur, a marine reptile from the Cretaceous.

Map — Download a map of the 4th floor (pdf)

Amenities: Visitor Services Desk and Gift Shop. 

Thumbnail List

  • jaw of mosasaur, a marine reptile


    View the iconic “Bunker” mosasaur, a Tylosaurus proriger

5th Floor

Explore Evolution on the 5th floor, with a variety of interactive exhibits, including our newest, Documenting Diversity! You can also get a different perspective on the Bunker mosasaur. 

Map — Download a map of the 5th floor (pdf)

Amenities: Restrooms. Accessible ramp into 5th floor gallery. 

Thumbnail List

6th Floor

What's that buzzing?! On the 6th floor, learn about bees and see them in action at our live Bee Tree exhibit, view a variety of mammals skulls, our living microbes wall, living snakes and anoles, birds, dioramas, archaeological artifacts, and dive into the new Deep-Scattering Layer!  Down the north hall and just around the corner, you'll find the original grotesques, created for Dyche Hall in 1902 and removed for preservation in 2017. 

Map — Download a map of the 6th floor (pdf)

Amenities: Water fountains and bottle filler station. 

Thumbnail List

  • bee tree

    Bee Tree

    A live bee colony, housed in the model of a tree

  • biodiversity exhibit


    Explore life on planet earth in all its forms of beauty

  • frog

    Cleared & Stained

    A chemical process that reveals the skeletal anatomy

  • parasite example

    Faces of Parasites

    Large scale colorized electron microsope images

  • mammal skulls exhibit

    Mammal Skulls

    48 different types and sizes of mammal skulls

  • snake

    Live Snakes & Anoles

    Several commonly found snakes and several species of anole lizards

  • petri dish

    Microbes in the Museum

    A collection of living microbes

  • red exhibit

    A Spectrum of Red

    Highlights the incredible biodiversity of our planet through the color red

  • deep scattering layer exhibit featuring bright blue background and layers of different fish specimens

    Physical Exhibit

    Deep Scattering Layer: Daily Migration of Ocean Animals

Museum From Home

Want to explore more when you get home? Check out our Museum From Home, with fun activities and explorations!