Did you know you can visit the Museum online instead of in person? While we’re practicing social distancing you can explore our online exhibits, YouTube playlists, news and blogs to keep inspired about science and nature. There’s a lot here that you might not know about!
Our website is vast, with many thousands of pages and millions of specimens to explore. If we could create a greatest hits album, this would be it.
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Science + Research News
We have hundreds of news articles about scientific discoveries here at the Florida Museum in our Science News site. Some of our newest articles:
Tracking the origin of southern California’s latest invasive pest
In 2012, a crop of California’s most prized ornamental trees was overrun by an invisible invader. The growing shoots of…
Tropical insects are extremely sensitive to changing climates
Insects that are adapted to perennially wet environments, like tropical rainforests, don’t tend to do well when their surroundings dry…
North America’s rarest snake found biting off more than it could chew
North America’s rarest snake, Tantilla oolitica (rim rock crowned snake), was recently spotted in a park in the Florida Keys…
Some reader favorites:
Artist Minna Fernald donated over 320 paintings of Florida wildflowers to the university in 1942, providing a rich record of the state’s past ecological life. Read the story or browse the paintings digitized by UF Libraries.
Every fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies travel nearly 3,000 miles across the U.S. to the sacred fir forests of Central Mexico to wait for winter to soften into spring. Read more about this adventure to meet the monarchs in Mexico.
Bruce MacFadden, curator of vertebrate paleontology and Director of the Thompson Earth Systems Institute, gave a virtual tour of our fossil hall, with stops at some of Florida’s significant species. Watch the video tour
Our paleontologist Jonathan Bloch was just a guest on a NOVA episode that revealed the bizarre history and explores the future of Earth’s poles. Stream the two hour episode here.
The Taino myth of the cursed creator (story + video)
Florida Museum YouTube channel
We have hundreds of videos on our YouTube channel to explore, including scientific research within our Museum, and research projects across University of Florida’s campus. Some highlights:
Butterfly Rainforest Moments:
Butterfly Rainforest Moment, How do they taste?
Spend a moment in our Butterfly Rainforest with Ryan talking about how butterflies taste. Specifically, how they sense potential host…
Butterfly Rainforest Moment, Cocoon vs. Chrysalis
Spend a moment in our Butterfly Rainforest with Ryan talking about pupa—the stage where caterpillars transform into butterflies and months.…
Butterfly Rainforest Moment, Golden longwing
Spend a moment in our Butterfly Rainforest with Ryan talking about the Golden longwing butterfly, Heliconius hecale, from Mexico and…
Skeleton video series:
From shark teeth to fossils to moths that build houses out of poop, our research video playlist has a little something science-y for everyone:
MESS Early Childhood Curriculum
Download comprehensive guides designed to help teachers and parents support children’s early science explorations and foster language development, literacy, problem solving, curiosity and motivation, and general knowledge through science experiences.MESS Guides
Online Exhibits + Exploration
We’ve recently uploaded more exhibits from the Museum to our online exhibit space so you can check out Women of the Everglades and Hope for the Humpbacks from your computer of mobile device. We’re working on even more to help you #MuseumFromHome! Browse Online Exhibits
In 2017 we celebrated out 100th anniversary with an exhibit highlighting a selection of objects from our collections of over 40 million specimens, artifacts and cultural items. The exhibit has closed but you can still browse the objects and listen to a story about each one as told by the scientists and students who know them best.
Students often learn in history class that the Spaniards brought horses to the New World in the 1500s, but the fossil record shows horses actually originated in North America at least 55 million years ago and roamed the continent before becoming extinct at the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago.
Over the two turbulent centuries between St. Augustine’s founding and the departure of the Spaniards in 1763, the city was home to Spaniards, American-born Spanish (criollos), American Indians, Africans and mixed-blood people. Together they created a lively multi-cultural and multiethnic society that was unique in colonial North America.
More than 250 years ago, African-born slaves risked their lives to escape English plantations in Carolina and find freedom among the Spanish living at St. Augustine. Learn more about the discovery and research that brought Fort Mose to light.
This searchable gallery includes 220 entries of Florida freshwater fishes, each with a live image, key characteristics for field identification and habitat description. It is is based on the “Fishes in the Fresh Waters of Florida” guide.
Over 1,000 different species of vertebrate animals are known to have lived in Florida over the past 35 million years. Florida has the richest fossil record of vertebrate animals of the eastern United States. Explore extinct species, significant fossil sites in Florida and more!
Learn about fishes, sharks, sawfish and skates! Over 260 species profiles to explore, from bull sharks to stingrays to blue tang, plus FAQs, fish anatomy features and more learning tools.
If you learn to pick out the species of frogs (and toads), you can quickly know a lot about the habitat, the season and even the individual’s personal message. Listen to the most common Florida frog calls to learn about your personal backyard chorus.
Many bird watching fans will say that learning to ID species by their calls is one of the best ways to appreciate the avian diversity of your area. Listen to the calls of Florida’s most common and recognizable bird species.
Explore the 50 most common native wildflowers and butterflies in Florida, and learn about the many habitats where they can be found.
Explore object from three culture areas are featured in this online exhibit: Mesoamerica, the Intermediate Area, and the Central Andes. Browse the collection
Our blogs highlight the work of our scientists and support team that catalogs and examines global biodiversity, from the origin of earth as we know it, through present day, and forward into future possibilities. You can also learn about the latest additions to the Butterfly Rainforest, fun outreach events and more. Explore the blogs:Browse Museum blogs