Did you know you can visit the Museum online instead of in person? 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.
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:
Move over, armadillos. There’s a new bone-plated mammal in town
Mammals are a bit odd when it comes to bones. Rather than the bony plates and scales of crocodiles, turtles,…
Butterfly tree of life reveals an origin in North America
About 100 million years ago, a group of trendsetting moths started flying during the day rather than at night, taking…
For birds, blending in may result in more diversity
The saying “Birds of a feather flock together” is being given new meaning by a study published in the Philosophical…
Browse more Science + Research News
Some reader favorites:
Forgotten for decades, rediscovered watercolor collection features hundreds of Florida plants
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.
A kaleidoscope of monarchs: Marveling at one of nature’s greatest journeys
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.
Fore easy reading bite-size posts about clover, megalodon, bats, air potatoes and more, check out our Five Facts series.
Five Facts: Bees in Florida
While we often think of bees as fuzzy, black and yellow-striped buzzy insects that live in hives like the honey…
Five Facts: Kudzu in Florida
Kudzu is one of the best-known weeds in the U.S. Some consider it the poster child of invasive plants –…
Five Facts: Portuguese man-of-war
The Portuguese man-of-war, Physalia physalis, is found in every ocean except the Arctic and often washes up on Florida’s coasts.…
Virtual Museum Tours
Our education team joined up with educators at Thompson Earth Systems Institute to host several virtual tours of our exhibits including Florida Fossils and South Florida People & Environments. Watch the virtual tour playlist
Florida Museum Science + Nature
We have lots of videos on our YouTube channel to explore, including scientific research, recorded speaker events, DIY activities and self-guided exploration resources. We also include videos on our playlists that feature our scientists from across the web. Some highlights:
- The Woodpecker Story: An Indigenous Parable
- On Tiny Wings: the monarch migration
- The Taino myth of the cursed creator (story + video)
- Tiger beetles: fierce hunters, fast movers
- American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) in Florida
- Florida worm lizard (Rhineura floridana), a.k.a. Thunderworm!
- Cactus adaptations with Ted-Ed and Lucas Majure
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:
Florida Museum on YouTube Museum Research Playlist
Spotlight | NOVA: Polar Extremes
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.
Series | 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…
Exhibits | Skeleton video series
Activities + Virtual Events
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.
Discovery Time is a video series designed for families with young children (2+, but all ages are welcome) to introduce kids to nature.
Choose from a variety of self-guided explorations of local nature parks or learn about the partnership with Alachua County Library District to offer Exploration Backpacks at all 12 library locations for card holders.
Free PDF activity book download, scientist profiles and videos of experiments and demonstrations curated by current scientists for future scientists celebrate women in STEM.
Virtual Event Videos
From moths to mushrooms, we’ve hosted a lot of fun virtual events that bring scientists and their research right to your screens. Check out these highlights or browse the full list:
- The Best Nightlife in Town 2020
- Virtual Mushrooms with the Florida Museum 2020
- Mushrooms with the Museum 2021: Deadly Insect Pathogens and Loveable Lichens
- Earth Day 2021 Keynote: Audrey Peterman
- Collectors Day at the Florida Museum
- Browse more speaker events
Online Exhibits + Resources
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
Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum
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.
St. Augustine: America’s Ancient City
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.
Fort Mose: America’s Black Colonial Fortress of Freedom
More than 250 years ago, enslaved Africans risked their lives to escape English plantations in the Carolinas and find freedom among the Spanish living at St. Augustine. The story of Fort Mose is a tribute to these courageous Africans and their pursuit of freedom.
Fishes in the Fresh Waters of Florida Gallery
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.
Florida Vertebrate Fossils: Fossil Species of Florida
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.
Florida is home to many species of snakes, frogs, lizards and more! Explore our reptile and amphibian checklists, and browse our popular guide to Florida snakes.
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.
Florida’s Wildflowers & Butterflies
Explore the 50 most common native wildflowers and butterflies in Florida, and learn about the many habitats where they can be found.
Butterfly Brochures + Resources
Download the free Miami Blue Butterfly coloring book and many butterfly brochures and learn about Wings Over Florida.
Comparative Mission Archaeology Portal
Researchers, educators, students and the curious can explore the history of Florida’s Spanish missions via a new online database. Read about the CMAP database or explore it now.
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
Support the Museum
Your support means the world to us and helps the Florida Museum inspire people to care about life on Earth with free educational programs and resources. If you are able, please consider donating to support these programs, either through purchasing a Museum membership or by making a gift.
This page was originally published in March 2020 and we have updated it to include Museum material created since.