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

Common Blue Butterfly

Zoology Live! 30 June – 2 July 2021

Join us online for this year’s Zoology Live! Festival. We were live on YouTube at 7pm every evening from Wednesday 30 June to Friday 2 July. Missed it? Fear not – you can still catch up on all the livestreams. Just scroll down and you can find them in this blog post. You can also take part in our challenges all summer. This year we … Continue reading Zoology Live! 30 June – 2 July 2021

Robin singing surrounded by blossom

Five minutes in nature: Tea break window watching

Museum Research Assistant Matt Hayes writes: With many of us currently having to work from home, spending our days sitting and staring at screens, it is important to take breaks, get up and look to the outside world when we can. Since lockdown, the kitchen table has become my new office and I am very lucky to have a small garden, which the kitchen backs … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: Tea break window watching

Portals to the World: resources for adults with dementia and their care partners

Join us as we explore five species with Museum staff and Department of Zoology researchers, then have a go at a different art activity inspired by the featured animals. These videos and resources have been created in partnership with Dementia Compass, for adults with dementia and their care partners in mind. While they were initially created for participants of our Portals to the World course, … Continue reading Portals to the World: resources for adults with dementia and their care partners

Startling murmuration in the sky at sunset

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: 12 Days of Critters

Throughout this week we have been sharing some amazing winter wildlife with you, and today we have joined this all up as our 12 Days of Critters. Why not download the song sheet and sing along with your new festive favourite: Find out about the 12 critters, and scroll down to learn how to make your own origami starling murmuration to decorate your home. Winter … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: 12 Days of Critters

Close up photograph of snowflakes

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Surprising Winter Animals

Think of an animal of winter and what comes to mind? A robin? A swan? A snow flea? Yes, you read that right, a snow flea. This is just one of the more surprising winter animals you can find out about today on day eleven of our 12 days of winter wildlife. Scroll down for more surprising winter wildlife, and a surprise snowflake craft – … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Surprising Winter Animals

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

Winter moth on pine tree bark

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Active Insects

It’s day three of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife and we are exploring insects that are active in the cold weather, and in particular, winter moths. These are amazing animals, but how do we study moths? Join moth expert Annette Shelford as she shows us why moths are important and how to monitor them with this film from our Zoology Live festival that took … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Active Insects

White admiral on leaf

Provide shady spots to protect butterflies from climate change

Researchers have discovered significant variations in the ability of different UK butterfly species to maintain a suitable body temperature. Species that rely most on finding a suitably shady location to keep cool are at the greatest risk of population decline. The results predict how climate change might impact butterfly communities, and will inform conservation strategies to protect them. The results, published in the Journal of … Continue reading Provide shady spots to protect butterflies from climate change

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

Photograph of a peacock buttefly on a flower

Watching Summer Wildlife

This is the final Nature Classroom post before the summer holidays. We hope you have been enjoying exploring the natural world with us this term. We thought we would finish the term with some fun activities engaging with the wildlife on your doorstep. There is information about a fantastic citizen science project from Butterfly Conservation, as well as wildlife-watching activities as part of Summer at … Continue reading Watching Summer Wildlife

Citizen Science

Did you take part in our Zoology Live 2020 event on iRecord? Have you thought about taking part in a wildlife survey as a citizen scientist? Museum Research Assistant Matt Hayes takes a deep dive into the world of citizen science, discussing how it benefits our understanding of the natural world, and how you can get involved: What is Citizen Science? Citizen science is the … Continue reading Citizen Science