Journey through the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Natural Heritage Campus

Our national research and collections centre in Gatineau, Quebec

Go behind-the-scenes to see treasures from national collections of plants, animals, fossils and minerals. There’s lots to discover — from dinosaur bones, to rare dried plants, colourful minerals to slimy creatures in jars and more.

Dinosaur Polar Bear Dinosaur Bones Exhibit
Play Video

Start Your Journey

Start Your Journey

Centre Stage

Welcome to the Natural Heritage Campus.

Discover some of the most unique items in our collections and meet the experts that study them in this video series. Check back often – new videos available weekly.

Big & Small Play Video

Big & Small
The most extreme examples of size in our collections, from large scarab beetles, a huge earthworm and the prehistoric beaver to the tiniest, like a hummingbird egg and shrew skeleton. And find out which dinosaur had the largest brain-to-body ratio!

Wet & Dry Play Video

Wet & Dry
See how we prepare a skeleton for our collections (you might want to cover your eyes!). Find out about wet and dry minerals. Compare limbs of a land-based dinosaur, Oviraptorasaurid, to those of a plesiosaur, a marine reptile.

Young & Old Play Video

Young & Old
From the strikingly juvenile bald eagles to Acasta Gneiss, the world’s oldest rock, discover old versus new. And just what are those white grubs in your lawn?

Hard & Soft Play Video

Hard & Soft
Discover the hardest bone in a mammal skeleton and meet a fish that is so flexible that it can tie itself in a knot! Find out about “soft” fossil discoveries and the tools we use to extract fossils from hard or soft matter.

Mammals, birds and more!

Zoology (Vertebrates)

Mammals, birds and more!

The museum has 1.25 million specimens of vertebrates—from mammals and birds, to reptiles, to amphibians and fishes. There is so much to catch the eye, including whale bones, the wall of antlers and skeletons of all kinds!

The Vertebrate Collection Play Video

The Vertebrate Collection

Birds, Nests, and More Play Video

Birds, Nests, and More

Tales of Teeth Play Video

Tales of Teeth

Fish, Reptiles, Frogs Play Video

Fish, Reptiles, Frogs

Dog-Wolf Hybrids Play Video

Dog-Wolf Hybrids

What's in a Species Name? Play Video

What's in a Species Name?


Zoology (Invertebrates)


The museum boasts one of the best collections of beetles in the world. Also among the 1.3 million specimens of insects are colourful butterflies and other assorted creepy crawlies. Did you know? Invertebrates make up much of the Earth’s biodiversity.

Millions of Invertebrates! Play Video

Millions of Invertebrates!

Darwin Beetles Play Video

Darwin Beetles

Biggest Butterfly Play Video

Biggest Butterfly

Vascular plants, lichens, mosses and algae


Vascular plants, lichens, mosses and algae

More than one million plants of all kinds, pressed and preserved – some over 100 years old – are in the National Herbarium of Canada. See how this library of plants is used for scientific study.

A Plant Library Play Video

A Plant Library

Arctic Botany Play Video

Arctic Botany

Arctic Botany Play Video

Lichens of the Arctic

Collecting Seaweed Play Video

Collecting Seaweed

Minerals and Rocks


Minerals and Rocks

The museum has thousands of minerals in its national collection, as well as rocks, gems and meteorites. These provide an amazing scientific record of the geological foundations and formation of the Earth.

Mineral Treasures Play Video

Mineral Treasures

Crystal Growth Play Video

Crystal Growth

Amazing Meteorite Play Video

Amazing Meteorite

X-Ray ID of Minerals Play Video

X-Ray ID of Minerals

Research with Impact

2020 Science Review

Research with Impact

Discover our science! The Science Review is an annual round-up of published papers published by, or with, our researchers, and using our museum specimens.


Photos From The Field

Photos from the field

Museum Fieldwork

Every year, Museum researchers and experts travel to parts of Canada, documenting our country’s plants, animals and geological diversity. Take a virtual trip with them in this photo gallery.

Cryobank, Library and Labs

Cryobank, Library and Labs

See some of the other areas that support the museum’s mission. The National Biodiversity Cryobank of Canada preserves plant and animal tissues, and genetic material in a deep freeze! Our Library and Archives includes rare books and scientists’ field notes. And our conservators ensure the collections are properly preserved.

Deep Freeze of DNA Play Video

Deep Freeze of DNA

Rare Books & Field Notes Play Video

Rare Books & Field Notes

Conservators in Action Play Video

Conservators in Action