Museum of Zoology

Lower gallery of University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
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The Museum of Zoology, part of Cambridge University’s Department of Zoology, is home to a huge variety of recent and fossil animals.

The Museum of Zoology is currently closed for refurbishment. Our animals are not ready to greet you yet! We are working as hard as we can to get the museum finished, and plan to open in 2018. It will be well worth the wait!

Once reopen the Museum will have new displays, a café, shop and an impressive new glass entrance hall housing our largest specimen, a skeleton of the 70ft long Finback Whale. Our newly refurbished galleries will show off our wonderful zoological collections, some of which were collected by Charles Darwin.

Our new displays will trace the evolution of animal life, with intricately beautiful shells, a comprehensive collection of British birds, and many large skeletons of mammals. Our collections rival those of the major university museums world-wide, and are used for academic study by researchers within and beyond the University. The entire collection of the museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Families and group visitors will enjoy our regularly-changing, free, self-led trails and activities.

Please visit our website or follow us on social media pages to keep up to date with the progress of the Museum's redevelopment.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Currently closed for redevelopment. Re-opening in 2018.
Public Engagement & Outreach work is ongoing.

Admission charges


The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Museum's collections date back to 1814, and draw many of the earlier specimens from the great collecting expeditions of the 19th century, including Charles Darwin's 'Beagle' voyage. The collections, which rank amongst the finest in the world, represent all major animal groups and contain a high proportion of scientifically important material such as types and holotypes, particularly noteworthy insect and mollusc material, and fine examples of extinct fauna such as the Great Auk, Thylacine, fossil tetrapods and giant marine reptiles. They provide essential baseline data from which to assess the current distribution and status of global species, and comprise a unique record for use by public and academics alike.

Collection details

Natural Sciences

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Fin Whale skeleton at the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge

Celebrating Women in Science and Conservation

  • 8 March 2018 4-7:30pm

Join the Museum and Department of Zoology and CCF’s Women in Conservation Leadership Network as we celebrate the contributions of women in science for International Women’s Day 2018. Be inspired by the talented women working in Zoology and Conservation Science. With a keynote talk by Professor Rebecca Kilner of the Department of Zoology at 6pm, and the chance to chat to researchers and practitioners about their work and careers at ‘Meet the Scientist’ stalls from 4pm, don’t miss this opportunity to find out about world class research and innovative conservation practice taking place in Cambridge.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17


Museum of Zoology
The David Attenborough Building
Downing Street




01223 336650

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.