Permanent Exhibit Halls

New Paleontology Hall

Embark on a "prehistoric safari" when the brand new, world-class, football field-sized, paleontological wonderment opens to the public. In addition to a new hall, the expansion plan adds a direly needed 115,000 square feet in combined educational exhibition and classroom space. It's a whole new HMNS. Own It.

Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals

This spectacular hall houses the world's finest display-quality collection of minerals, which includes more than 750 beautifully crystallized mineral specimens. Discover some of the rarest and most stunning minerals ever uncovered. Walk-around display cases and fiber-optic lighting provide an optimum view of these dazzling treasures.

The Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault

As the newest permanent exhibit hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Smith Gem Vault contains some of the most coveted and mesmerizing polished and cut gems and jewels ever displayed in a single exhibit. Floating lightly in space and radiating intense color, the jeweled masterpieces on display in the Smith Gem Vault literally take your breath away. As a complement to the Museum's existing, world-renowned collection of the rarest and most beautiful mineral crystals, the Smith Gem Vault collection includes the world's finest aquamarine, the largest emerald crystal ever recovered inNorth America and the world's finest boulder opal in addition to dazzling examples of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, aquamarines, topazes, amethysts, alexandrites, and tourmalines.

Wiess Energy Hall

The most sophisticated and comprehensive energy exhibit in the world, the Wiess Energy Hall explores the application of scientific concepts and advanced technology in the oil and gas industry. Discover the fascinating processes through which energy is developed, from how fossil fuels are formed to the alternative energy sources of the future, through interactive touch screens, holographic videos, and hands-on displays.

 

John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas

This exhibit celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments and cultural traditions of indigenous peoples from over 50 diverse cultures fromAlaska toPeru. Visitors are surrounded by innovative, reconstructed environments and hands-on activities, as the Museum's magnificent collection of artifacts comes to life. Discover Amazonian feather art, rugs, pottery, beadwork, kachina dolls, pre-Columbian gold, and other priceless relics.

 

Evelyn & Herbert Frensley Hall of African Wildlife

Graham Family Presentation of Ecology & Conservation Biomes

Explore all of Africa without leaving Houston. Unlike the traditional "menagerie" approach, this hall focuses on well-integrated themes of African wildlife ecology and conservation, with over 120 specimens representing more than 70 species on display, including 42 species of birds and 28 species of mammals. Engaging interactives and video films make this exhibit a special treat for visitors of all ages.

Strake Hall of Malacology

Malacology is the study of mollusks-invertebrate creatures with soft, un-segmented bodies, many of which house themselves in shells. This group of animals includes more than 100,000 species, ranging in size from barely visible snails to giant squids more than 60 feet long. The Strake Hall of Malacology highlights these creatures through models, fossils, living specimens, and hundreds of rare shells, including the largest snail shell ever discovered.

 

Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife

Texasis home to an astonishing array of wildlife. Explore this fascinating variety of creatures through realistic displays of alligators, river otters, mountain lions, and other native Texas animals-both currently in existence and extinct. A four-screen video wall provides a dramatic overview of the seven biotic provinces withinTexas, allowing visitors to learn more about the plants, animals, and topography of these unique regions. Interactive touch screens challenge visitors to sharpen their knowledge ofTexas wildlife, including endangered species.

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