Featuring our world renowned wildlife dioramas by Walter Breckenridge, Francis Lee Jaques, and John Jarosz, our permanent galleries will further connect people, nature, and the universe. These new galleries are organized by four themes:
Why is Earth special?
As Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, it was bestowed with unique characteristics. Data and images from a wide variety of telescopes and other specialized instruments will reconstruct the story of Earth’s origins. This gallery will also show how modern astronomers continue the quest to find potentially life-bearing worlds beyond our solar system.
The tree of life
All species that ever were can be imagined as a tangled Tree of Life on Earth. In a constant, sometimes violent dance with our environment, species travel in space and time, chasing after habitats, sometimes multiplying, and sometimes disappearing forever. In this gallery, you’ll see examples of biological specimens that show adaptation, convergence and mutation illustrating evolution—the process by which genetic changes occur over time.
The web of life
Humans, just like herons or honey bees, must feed, reproduce, and raise their young. This gallery journeys through Minnesota’s biomes, including coniferous forests, prairies and prairie wetlands, big woods and big rivers. Explore ecological concepts such as species interactions, food webs, and nutrient cycling. Our Jaques dioramas are central to the design of this section.
Imagining our future
We as a species have triggered a new epoch in Earth’s history, where humans are no longer mere inhabitants, but in many ways, drivers of change. This gallery examines the influence people have had on the natural world, and University of Minnesota researchers driven to create a better future.