The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is located on the UC Berkeley campus and houses over 100,000 specimens. It is home to several zoological collections that are used for research, teaching, and public education. The museum has been in existence since 1908 but was recently renovated in 1997 to improve both accessibility and functionality.

Founded by Professor Joseph Grinnell, it came from a series of lectures he gave to students about the different vertebrates found on campus and their use at Berkeley. He showed an interest in collecting specimens that eventually became too large for one building so when funds became available two years later, a new Museum was created on Oxford Street, Berkeley which opened its doors to visitors in 1919. The Museum now houses over 100,000 specimens from all vertebrates – fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals – found throughout western North America. This kind of museum is beneficial for students for the following reasons:

  • They can learn about the skeletons of different vertebrates 
  • Understand and become immersed in their habitats 
  • Be able to explore exhibits to learn more about their natural history and evolution 
  • Students can use their research center for class projects

Many people think of natural history museums as entertainment venues, but they are primary centers for research that help document global biological diversity. MVZ’s collections provide a valuable resource for studying changes in animal populations. These collections allow researchers to study geographic and temporal changes, as well as track these patterns related to natural or human-induced environmental changes (e.g., climate change, landscape alteration). The work of this museum is valuable because:

  • They bring wildlife closer to home
  • MVZ’s collections allow for research on animal population changes
  • They collect data that can be valuable for the environment in years to come
  • They create new research opportunities
  • Educational for the public
  • It makes our world more knowledgeable

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is a wonderful place to visit for those who want more knowledge about animals. They offer hands-on and interactive exhibits, as well as research centers where students can do class projects or get help with their homework. MVZ’s collections allow for research on animal population changes, which means they could create new opportunities in the future when it comes to wildlife conservation efforts. Plus, this museum teaches people all sorts of things – from how different vertebrates have skeletons to what habitats these creatures live in. If you need some education yourself, make sure you stop by!

Berkeley, California is blessed with some of the Bay Area’s most fantastic museums.  Here’s a list of our favorites:

  • Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
  • Berkeley Natural History Museums
  • Museum of Paleontology
  • Essig Museum of Entomology Research
  • Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Aftel Archive of Curious Scents
  • Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles
  • Museum of Children’s Arts

All of these museums are located just a short distance from our location in downtown Berkeley, at 1935 Addison Street, Suite A!