With over 3000 natural history specimens on display, this gallery highlights the splendour of life in Plymouth and the South West. Travel back in time and come face to face with animals that lived here just 35,000 years ago.
Discover the creatures that inhabited the South West, through fossils found in cave sites around Devon. These fossils give us clues about past extinctions as well as allowing scientists to study them and find out how extinctions today are affecting ecosystems - and the planet.
Witness the biodiversity of our planet by getting up close to thousands of insects from our collections. They may be small, but insects are vital for healthy ecosystems around the planet. Explore the stories of our main insect collectors, and discover incredibly rare species. This impressive display highlights the sheer number of insects in the world, but it also tells a darker story: how fragile these animals are as a result of human impact.
From the creation of the Marine Biological Association, to the incredible work marine scientists are undertaking today, you will find out why Plymouth is the centre for marine science research in the UK. Hundreds of preserved marine animals provide a glimpse into life beneath the waves. And how our actions are having a devastating effect. Climate change, ocean acidification, and plastic pollution are affecting all marine life at an alarming rate.
Explore the rich mining heritage in the South West.
With hundreds of minerals on display, local collectors, and interactives you will witness the complex geological past and the formation of the very ground you are standing on!
An enormous display of dozens of skeletons and taxidermy animals allow you to discover more about how animals adapt to environments around them. This display not only shows the incredible adaptations to certain environments, but also just how many animals are at risk today from habitat destruction and hunting.
And of course, stand in awe of Mildred, our life-sized woolly mammoth - a symbol of what we have lost. There are thousands of different species in this gallery, and they are all under threat because of our actions. If we do not change soon, the richness of our oceans will disappear. Insects will be no more, leaving no food for other animals, and little plant life. Our planet will be an empty place without the incredible diversity of life that is with us today.