Delaware has numerous facilities for fostering learning in our young people. At the Delaware Museum of Natural History, you and your children can view a massive amount of animal specimens, including various birds, mollusks, and mammals. Our Delaware adoption agents love to visit here for a family field trip, as learning together is always a great bonding experience. Some highlights from this museum include:
The impressive bird collection at the Delaware Museum of Natural History contains approximately 67,000 study skins, 11,000 skeletons, and 36,000 clutches of eggs, along with a small tissue collection of eastern North American taxa. This tissue collection features samples from roughly 4,000 bird species, mainly from Philippine and Central and South American birds. Even some extinct species are represented here. The collection began in 1957 and continues to receive new contributions today. Notable collectors include:
- George Miksch Sutton
- Allan R. Phillips
- Olin S. Pettingill
- T.D. Burleigh
- D.S. Rabor
- M. Hachisuka
- Vivien Hewitt
- Sibley’s Yale-Peabody Expedition
With over 2 million specimens, the Museum’s mollusk collection is one of the largest in the country. There are 250,000 lots representing over 18,000 species. These include samples from all over the world, comprised of the following:
- Marine Gastropoda (50%)
- Land and Freshwater Gastropoda (25%)
- Marine Bivalvia (15%)
- Freshwater Bivalvia (5%)
Most of the collection is dry shells, along with some alcohol-preserved cephalopods. Most are recent, although there is some fossil material from the Cenozoic period.
The Mollusk department is a sponsor of the du Pont Trophy, which is an award presented to the overall best exhibit at participating North American shell shows.
The mammal collection boasts about 6,000 specimens, including skins, skulls, and skeletons. Roughly half of the collection consists of Phillippine bats and rodents – most of them collected by D.S. Rabor. The remaining half of the collection consists of various North American mammals.
The Nature Nook is an area of the museum specifically designed for younger kids, ages 1 through 10. Here, your little ones can enjoy story times, meetings with live animals, arts and crafts, and interactive, creative games. While it may be designed for kids, there are portions of the space where children and their parents can interact. Trained staff are always on hand to guide the kids through educational interactions and help them learn about the world around them.
The Nature Nook offers rentals of Explorer Backpacks, which can help your child maximize their exploration of the Museum. They include tools needed for work as a naturalist and the S.T.E.A.M. Hike, where you’ll move through the Museum’s outdoors and learn about science, engineering, technology, math, and art in hands-on activities.