Atlatls are spear-throwing devices that were used all around the world before bows and arrows were invented. Experimental archaeologist Mark Kollecker shows us how to spear a cardboard deer with this ancient tool. Worksheet available for grades 3-6.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
At the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, we believe that discovery starts with you. Explore our exhibits, meet our wild animals, take a hike, join a class—all while creating meaningful memories.
We make science relatable by cultivating your curiosity. When you visit the Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to delve deep into the past in our dinosaur hall, discover the outer reaches of the Universe in the Shafran Planetarium, and experience natural wonders in outdoor galleries. Children can experience hands-on learning in Smead Discovery Center, where the motto is "please touch!" Traveling exhibits bring the world to Cleveland with an ever-changing variety of new subjects to explore.
Beyond the Museum campus, we protect more than 11,000 acres through our Natural Areas Program. Each preserve harbors at least one unique natural community, including hardwood forest, Lake Erie island, fossil dune ridge, marsh, swamp, and glacial wetland. Together, these areas represent the remarkable biological diversity that was once widespread throughout the region, and now serve as educational and scientific resources. Our naturalist-led hikes and classes provide access to a wild Ohio you may never have imagined.
It's Meeko's time to shine! This week's Wildlife Wednesdays feature put the spotlight on one of your favorite animal ambassadors: Meeko, the albino raccoon! Chief Wildlife Officer Harvey Webster and Animal Programs Coordinator Nicole Episcopo gave us a behind-the-scenes look at enrichment and training for our bushy-tailed friend, and shared fun facts about thie Ohio-native species.
Roberta Muell, Assistant Curator of Vertabrate Zoology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, talks about the facinating facts and importance of amphibians.
This Scientist Saturday, join host Lee Hall and Dr. Denise Su, the Museum’s Chief Academic Engagement Officer, Gertrude Haskell Britton Endowed Chair of Education, and Curator of Paleobotany & Paleoecology, in a fascinating specimen spotlight. Delve into the scientific study of ancient plants and learn about specimens found in calcified lumps known as “coal balls.” You’ll discover how these lumps—consisting mostly of plant matter preserved in calcium carbonate—allow us to understand fossil plants on a cellular level. Worksheets available for grades 7-8 and 9-12.
On April 24, 1984, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History successfully hatched its first captive-bred eaglet. The years leading up to this milestone saw declining numbers of Bald Eagles in the wild—a consequence of the use of the pesticide DDT, as well as unregulated hunting. But our efforts helped to preserve this majestic species, which is now abundant throughout the state of Ohio and beyond. In this week’s Creature Feature, learn about Bald Eagles from Harvey Webster, the Museum’s Chief Wildlife Officer & Museum Ambassador. Worksheets available for grades PreK-K and 1-2.
Programming Coordinator Nicole Episcopo gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Animal Room. She’ll highlight everything that goes into caring for our beloved animal ambassadors, as well as how our animal experts prepare them for use in classes and programs. Worksheets available for grades PreK-K and 1-2.
Calling all parents! Kids are full of tough-to-answer questions. Maybe you've gotten this line of inquiry: "Why do we walk the way we do? How do four-legged animals walk the way they do? How did people of the past—like Lucy—walk?" Get one step ahead (pun intended!) by watching this Museum Monday video. See demonstrations of the different ways bodies are structured to accommodate locomotion, then share this fun activity with curious minds.
In episode two of Wildlife Wednesday, we meet up with Michelle Leighty, Manager of Wildlife Resources, who takes us behind the scenes of our raptor barn. Between administering medication to a Turkey Vulture and conducting a routine weight check with our Screech Owl, there’s no shortage of work when it comes to caring for the Museum’s birds.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s ornithology collection of approximately 35,000 research specimens covers more than a century of ornithological exploration around the world, with an emphasis on species native to Ohio. Each specimen is meticulously prepared for use in scientific analysis. In this specimen spotlight, learn about all the information we can glean from just one specimen with host Lee Hall and William A. and Nancy R. Klamm Endowed Chair and Curator of Ornithology Dr. Andy Jones. Worksheets available for grades 7-8 and 9-12.
If you’ve seen Bitty and Bob at the Museum, you know bobcats are incredible animals. They can leap as far as 12 feet and have a keen sense of smell. In this week’s edition of Wildlife Wednesdays, learn even more fast facts about these felines with wildlife specialist Nikki McClellan. Worksheets available for grades PreK-K and 1-2.
Have you ever seen a dinosaur graveyard? Get your chance during this week’s edition of Scientist Saturdays. Researchers estimate this event—which resulted in a mass grave of Coelophysis bauri casualties—took place about 225 million years ago, during the Late Triassic. The small dinosaurs were likely congregating around a watering hole when they perished in a freak accident (probably a monsoon, based on the evidence) and were quickly buried and preserved. Learn more about the painstaking work of Museum paleontologists to extract the fossilized Coelophysis skeletons from the block. Worksheets available for grades 7-8 and 9-12.
Director of Natural Areas and Curator of Botany Dr. Jim Bissell explains why it's important for us to care for native plants in Northeast Ohio and gives us a look at the collections of the Botany Department. Worksheet available for grade 5.
Curator & John Otis Hower Chair of Archaeology Dr. Brian Redmond discusses evidence of rare ceremonial activities at an archaeological site in Northern Ohio dated around 300 B.C. Learn more about the first peoples of Ohio with Dr. Redmond’s special encore presentation after the video debuts. Worksheets available for grades 4-5 and 7-9.
Coyotes are remarkable creatures. In the wild, you can find them in almost any habitat throughout North America, including all of Ohio’s 88 counties. But the Museum’s coyotes, Red, Tex, Ember, and Charcoal, were all rescued shortly after birth and are not suitable for the wild. Instead, we’ve built them habitats that mirror their natural environments. Our animal experts work to provide them with daily enrichment to maintain their physical and mental health. In this video, learn about coyote care and go behind the scenes as we celebrate their birthdays with a special enrichment activity. Worksheets available for grades PreK-K and 1-2.
Museum Naturalist Judy Semroc brings some dragonfly and damselfly nymphs into our videoconference studio to take a close look at these amazing aerial hunters. Worksheet available for grades 3-4 and 5-6.
Some people may think dung beetles are gross. After all, they live in and eat animal waste! But Dr. Nicole Gunter, the Museum’s Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, finds them utterly fascinating. In fact, they’re her favorite animal. “Why?” you might ask. Get the scoop in this video. Worksheets available for grades 7-8 and 9-12.
Spend some time studying the Museum’s Sears Hall of Human Ecology with experimental archaeologist Mark Kollecker. Worksheet available for grades 4-6.
Curator of Invertebrate Zoology Dr. Joe Hannibal gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum’s invertebrate paleontology collections, from tiny brachiopods to massive millipedes.
Collections Manager Amanda McGee shows off some of the coolest fossils in the Museum’s collections. Worksheet available for grades 1-2.