Reed warbler in long grasses

Zoology Live! 2022

It is that time of year again – time for us to celebrate our Zoology Live! festival at the Museum of Zoology. We have an exciting line up of livestreams and activities, culminating in the BioBlitz at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, where you can put what you have learnt about local wildlife to the test. Our Zoology Live! YouTube livestreams are taking place on … Continue reading Zoology Live! 2022

Illustration of ant hill with ants

In with the Insects Trail

For the Cambridge Festival 2022, follow the trail around the Museum to find out about insects and plants and how they evolve together. Follow the trail on your device below, or download and print to take with you here: Follow on your device… Flowering plants often need the help of insects to share pollen to create seeds. Insects carry pollen from one flower to another, … Continue reading In with the Insects Trail

Butterflies through time title page

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

If you visit the Museum of Zoology Butterflies through Time exhibition (from 15 March – September 2022), you will be greeted by a magnificent collaborative artwork created by children from three Cambridgeshire Schools – The Grove Primary in Cambridge, Lantern Primary in Ely and Lionel Walden Primary in Doddington – led by artist Eleanor Chaney. Find out more about Eleanor and her project The Library … Continue reading A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

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

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