Have you met Dunky? He’s not something you can see at the Shedd Aquarium or Sea World. You can only catch him at the University of Iowa Natural History Museum on the famed Pentacrest in Downtown Iowa City. Dunky is the likeness of a Dunkleosteus, a prehistoric fish that lived during the Devonian era in the land that we now call Iowa. Dunky and his habitat is brought to life in the museum, which offers free admission (goodwill offering) and a variety of educational exhibits.
Over 1,000 birds are on display in the Hegeboeck Hall of Birds. There is an interactive computer station on bird sounds, a life-sized model of a Wandering Albatross with a real, fiber-optically illuminated skeleton inside, and a video presentation on bird flight.
The Biosphere Discovery Hub explores the relationship between people and the natural environment. Beginning with ancient rock drawings, through 10,000 years of Iowa’s changing natural and cultural landscape, up to today’s frightening threats to our health and environment, the hub shows the many kinds of traces that people leave on the land and features UI environmental research addressing global environmental concerns.
And Mammal Hall contains outstanding displays in Mammal Hall include a specimen of the rare giant panda from China, a complete skeleton of a 47-foot Atlantic right whale, and musk oxen from the Barren Grounds of northern Canada. Specimens from aardvark to zebra are represented, with many animals collected by University of Iowa faculty and students during expeditions around the world.
There is truly a new adventure around every corner as you explore the Natural History Museum in Iowa City!