Bird display at the Museum of Zoology

Behind the Scenes at the Museum for Open Cambridge 2021

We have a special treat for you as part of the Open Cambridge Festival 2021: not one but three virtual tours of the Museum. Go behind the scenes for a tour of the Bird Room with Curator of Ornithology Dr Daniel Field and a tour of the Insect Room by Research Assistant Matt Hayes. Then follow Assistant Director Jack Ashby as he guides you around … Continue reading Behind the Scenes at the Museum for Open Cambridge 2021

Five-spot burnet moth

National Moth Week 2021

July 17-25 is National Moth Week 2021. To celebrate, we are revisiting a moth trap from 2020, and finding out more about some of the British moths in our collections with Research Assistant Matt Hayes. Why not join us at the BioBlitz in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 July to find out more about moth surveying and see some … Continue reading National Moth Week 2021

Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

The Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

Conserving an endangered butterfly into the future: long term requirements of the Duke of Burgundy. Research Assistant at the Museum of Zoology Matt Hayes writes: Seeing butterflies on the wing is usually a sure-fire sign that warmer weather has arrived and for most of us, I hope they are a common sight on sunny days in spring and summer. In fact, one of my favourite … Continue reading The Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

Red admiral butterfly, Vanessa atalanta. Image credit Andrew Bladon

Butterfly Challenge 2021

Recording butterflies is a great way to engage with wildlife and what’s more, it can help us monitor the health of the environment. Butterflies are sensitive to change, so recording where we see them and what they are doing can help us keep track of the natural world. Please note that our Butterfly Challenge 2021 competition has now ended, but you can still record and … Continue reading Butterfly Challenge 2021

Close up of a drawer of large blue butterflies in the Museum of Zoology

Conservation Success Stories

For the Earth Optimism Festival organised by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative this year, the Museum created a film of Conservation Success Stories based on specimens in our collections. It was fascinating and uplifting to hear these stories of actions people have taken that have benefited wildlife the world over from researchers and conservation practitioners involved with these projects. To celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity … Continue reading Conservation Success Stories

Gorse shieldbug on a branch

BioBlitz Cambridge 2020: The Results

During March we are working with Cambridge University Botanic Garden to bring you a series of blog posts documenting Spring arriving in the Garden. This will be culminating in a Wildlife Diaries livestream at 5pm on Thursday 1 April on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RScsiUeR5aQ We will be live in the Garden with a panel of wildlife experts ready to answer your questions. To whet your appetite for … Continue reading BioBlitz Cambridge 2020: The Results

Heliconius butterfly

Exploring Chemical Signals in Butterflies

Kathy Darragh, PhD student in the Department of Zoology, writes: Due to the visual nature of humans, when we think of communication in nature, we tend to focus on things we can see. In many groups, however, other types of signals, such as chemicals, are the main form of communication. These chemical signals are harder to detect, and therefore to study, meaning they have received … Continue reading Exploring Chemical Signals in Butterflies

Ladybirds in the crevices of a branch

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Hibernation

Here we are on day five, and if you feel like sleeping through the winter months, you are not the only ones. Many animals lower their activity or even fully hibernate over winter. You may know of hedgehogs, dormice and bats doing this, but did you know that there are insects that hibernate too? You can help hibernating wildlife through the winter. Follow the Butterfly … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Hibernation

Amjad with purple hairstreak butterfly on his finger

‘Chasing butterflies’ at the Museum of Zoology

Amjad Khalaf, undergraduate student, writes: One of my fondest childhood memories is chasing butterflies and ladybirds in the garden and being fascinated by their vibrant colours as they flew around. Thinking back, that was one of the main reasons I became interested in biology; I often found myself wondering  why they looked the way they did and how they lived their lives that were so … Continue reading ‘Chasing butterflies’ at the Museum of Zoology

Animal Alphabet title page

Animal Alphabet: Aardvark to Zebra

Have you been watching our Animal Alphabet virtual tours of the Museum? Each week we have taken a different letter of the alphabet and explored the animals beginning with that letter in the Museum’s displays. We reached the end of the alphabet last week, so here is our final Animal Alphabet post. We have chosen some of our favourites to give you the whole alphabet, … Continue reading Animal Alphabet: Aardvark to Zebra

Photograph of a hoverfly hovering

An Insect A Day Part 11

Have you noticed some of the amazing insect life living around us this summer? Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology has been keeping a photo diary of insects this year. Here it continues with some lovely metallic insects, a stone-like bush cricket, and some fabulous action shots: You can see more of Bill’s photographs on the blog: An Insect A Day for bee … Continue reading An Insect A Day Part 11

wildflowers in the city (c) Stanley Quek

Singapore’s Nature Ways

Stanley Quek, an MPhil student focusing on assessing the effectiveness of the Nature Ways network in Singapore, writes: Singapore is an island country in the biodiverse region of Southeast Asia. Singapore is also a large city, with urban landscapes dominating the island. In the past, Singapore was completely covered with dense primary forests and mangroves, however, much of that has been lost with the development … Continue reading Singapore’s Nature Ways