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View of Dinosaur Fossil
Courtesy Dallas Museum of Natural History

The Dallas Museum of Natural History

3535 Grand Avenue

Fair Park, Texas 75315

Written by Jeff Heath
The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial and is located in the historic Fair Park district. This is the only public collections based, research driven, natural history museum in the region today and is a Smithsonian Institution museum. In the year 2001 the Museum attracted over 150,000 visitors. The mission of the Dallas Museum of Natural History is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world through collections-based research, educational programs and exhibitions.

Cordova Limestone Structure of Dallas

The Museum of Natural History consists of some 45,000 square feet on two floors and a
basement. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is built of native Cordova limestone. Approximately 25,000 sq. ft. is dedicated to exhibits and the administrative offices, scientific labs, exhibit workshops and on-site collections storage are located on the lower level (basement).The Museum contains two gift shops, one general museum store, and outdoor amphitheater for special shows and events, a multi-use auditorium, 3 libraries of rare books and 5,000 volumes of research facilities and a 3,000 volume educational resource library.

Exhibits and Collections at the Museum of Natural History

The Museum holds over 200,000 items including artifacts, ecofacts, entomology, vertebrate
Image of Student Feeding a Baby Tiger
Courtesy Dallas Museum of Natural History
and invertebrate paleontology, malacology, ichthyology, herpetology, ornithology and mammalogy specimens. The collections cover some 1.7 billion years of earth history, an extremely large collection of mounted Texas birds, some 300 trophy and full mount game specimens and the current exhibit of Texas Dinosaurs. The Museum also houses many species of animals, ranging from small mammals, turtles,snakes, insects and spiders. These animals are displayed in permanent and temporary exhibits.

The Bird Collection

The Museum holds the second largest scientific collection of birds in Texas, consisting of over 6,600 specimens. Among the more significant birds included in this collection are a Passenger Pigeon, three Ivory-billed
Woodpeckers and a number of specimens collected by H.P. Attwater dating back to the 1880's. There are several bird eggs and nests, a large collection of porcelain birds crafted by Boehm and by Doughty; a collection of antique duck decoys and the Mudge Library. The Mudge Library is one of the finest collections of illustrated bird books in the country.

Prehistoric Fossils and Dinosaurs

Fossils are pieces of the past that come forward through time. This entire exhibit contains fossils - the remains or traces of once living things. The extraordinary Wildlife Diorama at the Dallas Museum of
Interaction of Students and Insect Study
Courtesy Dallas Museum of Natural History
Natural History re-create animals in their native habitats in order for future generations may learn bout Texas wildlife prior to human development. The Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is closed only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. The Museum is available for special events and functions and for information call (214) 431-3466.
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Last Updated: September 23, 2015