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Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

One of the world’s foremost natural history museums

Academy of Natural Sciences

Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences Credit: J. Fusco for Visit Philadlephia


200 Years of Discovery

The discoveries that rocked the world then and now share four floors of exhibit space in this family-friendly museum that showcases the Academy’s remarkable collections. The fully constructed Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs, towers over Dinosaur Hall, also home to fossils from the Hadrosaurus foulkii, discovered in New Jersey in 1856. You can climb inside a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, try on horns and claws, and dig for fossils.

Multitudes of butterflies from Kenya, Costa Rica and Malaysia flit around you in a simulated tropical rain forest. Large game animals acquired in the 1920s and 1930s are mounted in 3-D painted dioramas that replicate their natural habitats; for Philadelphians of that era, this was their first sighting of an Indian tiger or a wildebeest.


Reptiles: The Beautiful And The Deadly

September 30, 2015 – January 10, 2016

Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly showcases an array of scaly creatures, including deadly snakes, colorful lizards, unusual turtles and crocodiles from all over the planet.

Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with these cold-blooded animals, and the engaging displays are intended to create a better understanding of how reptiles fit into the global ecosystem. Interactive elements like croc-speaking lessons, turtle trivia and viper “milking” will help hammer home the message.

For more information on Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly, click the button below.


Drawn To Dinosaurs

Now on view through 2016

Dinosaurs haven’t roamed the earth for 65 million years, so how do we know what they looked like? Based on found fossils, artists and scientists collaborated to figure it out.

Starting Sunday, November 1, 2015, art and science will once again come together when the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University debuts its newest exhibit, Drawn to Dinosaurs.

Museum visitors can catch this intriguing display, which features a 25-foot-long resin cast of Haddy, the beloved dinosaur whose bones serve as one of the museum’s most popular attractions. Haddy’s remains were originally discovered in 1858 in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Ten years later, ANSP became the first place in the world where the public could go to see dinosaur fossils.

The backdrop of the entire exhibit will be a massive drawing of what we assume Haddy looked like during prehistoric times.

The exhibit will also feature a touchable copy of a dinosaur skin impression, a time-lapse video of Poole performing a similar project in 2013, and a chronicle of the fascinating tale of the dinosaur’s discovery.

Click the button below for more information on Drawn To Dinosaurs.

drawn to dinosaurs


Founded in 1812, The Academy of Natural Sciences is the oldest continually operating museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It sponsored some of the seminal explorations for American wildlife and fossils, and by the early 1900s, expanded those explorations to Africa, Asia and the Antarctic. Researchers worldwide utilize the museum’s more than 17 million specimens for biodiversity studies.

Insider Tip

Many of the museum’s live animals are featured in shows throughout the day. Don’t miss the small but dazzling gem and crystal collection.

Great Kids’ Stuff

In the Outside-In hands-on nature center, children can touch a hissing Madagascar cockroach or a snake, crawl through a tree trunk and examine fossils under a microscope.


Butterflies! took flight in October 2009 at the Academy, with dozens of different butterflies from around the world encased in over 1,200-square-feet of exquisite gardens and interactive freedom. Witness the different stages in a butterfly’s life cycle, or let your imaginations take flight as you experience the beauty and charm of these delicate creatures.

Plan Your Visit

For ticket information, operating hours and special offers, click the button below.

Plan Your Visit

Buy Tickets In Advance

Tickets for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University can be purchased in person at the Independence Visitor Center or online in advance of your trip using the button below.

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