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.
Zoology Live logo

Zoology Live!

  • 23 — 24 June 2018 10am-5pm

Join the Museum of Zoology and friends from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Fitzwilliam Museum, Shepreth Wildlife Park, Raptor Foundation, Darwin Correspondence Project and more with hands on activities, live animals, talks and more. Be inspired by our collections and learn about the wildlife on your doorstep.
Speakers include: Professor Nick Davies, expert in animal behaviour and author of ‘Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature’; Catherine Barr and Anne Wilson, author and illustrator of ‘Red Alert! 15 endangered animals fighting to survive’, artist Matthew Lane Sanderson and others.

Saturday 23 June, 10.00-17.00
Exploring Zoology!
Explore the amazing world of animals. With live animal demonstrations, hands on activities, nature workshops and talks, there is something for the whole family.

Saturday 23 June, 20.00-22.00
Zoology Late!
Visit the museum after hours for drinks, music and more. Age 18+

Sunday 24 June, 10.00-17.00
Inspired by Zoology!
Discover amazing animal-inspired art, create your own animal masterpiece with workshops, talks and displays.

Some activities are bookable, others are drop-in. Online booking goes live Friday 11 May 2018. Please be advised that queuing systems may be put in place for popular drop-in activities at busy times.

Suitable for

  • Any age




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.