There was so much to see at the Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, that I had to go to two posts. Today will concentrate on the North Carolina specific exhibits. Like the history section moving from earliest prehistory to more recent history, the North Carolina ecosystem exhibits moved across the state from the mountains to the sea.
The Western area is called the Mountain Cove Forest. The Highlands area has the distinction of having the most rainfall of any area in the east, with an average of 80 inches a year.
Full size dioramas depict the key features of the region. Mountains, forests, natural flora and fauna were represented. The forests of western North Carolina are thought to be among the oldest in the US, and North Carolina has the most peaks east of the Mississippi at 43 taller than 6000 ft, and many more under 6000 like ours.
Waterfalls and birds seen from the balcony above the Mountain Cove diorama.
Our region also has Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the east, and Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall in the east.
The Piedmont area of forests and plains was represented with additional dioramas.
Between the Piedmont and the Mountain cove forests, there are more species of fungi in NC than any other state. Animals found in the areas are part of the scenes, like the fox seen here.
The Coastal region of NC contains the New River, in a quirky twist of naming, as it is thought to be the oldest river in eastern North America. The coastal region also has the oldest trees known in eastern North America, a stand of Bald Cypress dated at 1700 years old!
This is a Megatooth shark’s jaw bones with teeth, the ancestor of the modern Great White.
Real aquariums contain native fish and corals. The blue whale bones from yesterday’s post were above this area.
Underground North Carolina was a neat exhibit, with a rocky entrance dimly lit with display cases to give visitors the feeling of being inside a cave.
North Carolina is the only state where all four major gemstones have been found – emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
The largest emerald found in North America was found in North Carolina. Emeralds are beryl stones colored by chromium.
More gems found underground in North Carolina. Lots of amethysts are found here.
Interactive exhibits invite the visitor to turn the displays for more information on North Carolina ecology.
On the floor was a map of North Carolina created in marble and granite, showing the prevalence of each across the state.
Then in the Natural Treasures exhibit, glass cases depict the rich diversity of flora and fauna in our state. Here is the state bird, the cardinal, on our state flower, the dogwood.
We spent the entire day there, and still didn’t see all there was to see. The museum is free to the public, and well worth the visit if you are in the area.
Did you enjoy the virtual trip to NC Museum of Natural Science?
17 thoughts on “Museum of Natural Science North Carolina”
Having a brother who lives in the NC mountains, I found your tour to be most interesting. Thank you Carole….
I really enjoyed your photo tour from the last 2 days – would have liked to be there. I love Museums and they are all free in my hometown, Hull, but not as big as yours. We have THE DEEP – a submarium, which is the deepest aquarium in the world, so that’s something to brag about haha. Thanks for sharing all your lovely photo’s
https://www.thedeep.co.uk/ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Deep_(aquarium)
LOVE museums. I would go back to DC if they let me live in the Smithsonian! Best museums are the small local and county museums of local history. We’ve done many of those, including Old Town San Diego, and other local Californina museums. We even saw Rock City in the Dakotas! (an old sign on Hwy 66 “See Rock City!” but a bit hard to find! I have no idea if it’s still there….)
We went to the CO Museum of Natural History 2 years ago when they brought the show of the German scientist who “plasticizes” corpses. and yes, I think he’s a bit twisted! I went with my daughters, they enjoyed it. Once through was enough for me, then I told them, hey, I’m going over to the Gems Hall! shudder!
Thanks for sharing your adventures.
It was called “body world “. Interesting but not for everyone. They had a second -smaller exhibit a few years later.sounds like you saw that one. The lines to get in for the first show were unbelievable.
ok….WOW, just WOW…..thank you for sharing!
Incredible photos, Carole. It’s absolutely WONDERFUL that it’s free to the public. I have to wonder if my family in NC have visited. Hard to imagine that they don’t already know about it.
I did enjoy my virtual trip thru the Museum, sent the web pages onto a couple of my nephews. Great pictures, thank you for your time in sharing..
Good morning Carole,
Feel in love with my visit to my birth state, especially the cardinals on the dogwood branch. Noticed there is a Stone Mountain park and since we have one here in Atl. I would like to visit that one and see
What differences there are, its going to have to be a bucket list adventure for now. Too much going on right now. I’m very worried about a great friend and her husband, they live in Panama City, Fla. And I haven’t been able to reach them, after my Jay passed they have been so good to keep in touch with me and come to see me so I’m very concerned.
Smile and have a beautiful day,
Thanks for a great virtual tour!! So interesting to see the interesting aspects gathered in one place!!
Beautiful photos and explanations of your state. NC – on my bucket list. How wonderful it is FREE – thank you for sharing!
Looks like it is an amazing place with so much to see! Thanks for sharing! xx
Beautiful tour and photos. If I ever make it to NC, I’ll add this to my “to see” list. Thanks for sharing! Andrea
I learned so much today! I’ve never been to the south, except for Orlando, and that doesn’t really count for learning about the land and history. The diversity is breathtaking!
Oh I just love this! When I visit other places I always look up their Natural History museums. Someday I’m going to make it into your area and will put this on my must-see list! My favorite one, hands down, is in Salt Lake City: https://nhmu.utah.edu/. Not only does it do ‘natural science’ but it does it in a beautiful artistic way. Besides the ‘big’ obvious collections (like dinosaur bones), they make collections of natural items (like pressed plants) precious, beautiful, and engaging. My favorite part of their museum is a huge several story glass case with artistically arranged items that span the depth and breadth of their collection!
Definitely added to must visit list.great photos. Thanks for the tour.
I did enjoy your tour. Free – wow, that’s amazing! Does it survive on donations and fund raising efforts? Scientific discoveries? It sounds like something I’ll visit if I’m ever in Raleigh again.
I love learning about artifacts that are discovered in certain areas – wow all those gemstones! Thanks again for linking up to Take Me Away this month. Always great to see what you link up!
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