University Museum of Zoology

University Museum of Zoology
Downing Street




01223 336650

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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.

Displays 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.

Families and group visitors enjoy our regularly-changing, free, self-led trails and activities. Our events include art and photographic exhibitions, talks and family fun days.

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

Venue Type:


Opening hours

All Year: Mon-Fri 10.00-16.45
Sat 11.00-16.00

Closed: Some Bank Holidays and over Christmas

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.
LEafy Sea Dragon

Animal Bytes: Ocean Tales

  • 21 October 2014 7-8:30pm *on now

The Museum is home to more than its wonderful collection of animals. It is alive with scientists and staff. On the 21 October, the Museum invites you to discover more about the collection with an evening of stories from the collection through the eyes of the people who study and care for them. Animal Bytes explores the human side of the Museum, with curators, staff and others sharing their experiences through the museum specimens that have inspired them. Discover the longest lived animal on Earth, animals brought back from Captain Scott's Discovery Expedition, giants of the world's oceans, and get a rare peak at the Museum's collections during our refurbishment. Check out the Animaly Bytes blog for more stories behind the collections:

Suitable for

  • Family friendly