Mississippi's Travel Attraction of the Year, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science offers an intimate way for visitors from all fifty states and foreign countries to become acquainted with the inhabitants of Mississippi's forests, rivers, skies, and soils. The 73,000-square foot facility is nestled against a 300-acre natural area showcasing the state's rich natural heritage through life-like displays and living, breathing species. White-tailed deer to waterfowl, catfish to snapping turtles-each incredible exhibit captivates as it educates. See 200 species of fish and their aquatic neighbors in a 100,000-gallon network of giant aquariums. Catch an alligator snoozing in "The Swamp", a 1,700-square-foot greenhouse with lush plants and its own 20,000-gallon aquarium.
One of the best ways to interact with the material curated in the museum is actually to go outside, walking the two and a half miles of trails, which cross through several habitats. Hikers can see ecological diversity firsthand as they make their way from the bluff to the swamp and the Pearl River.
Founded in the mid-1930s, the museum began at the behest of Fannye Cook, a biologist who returned to Mississippi after working at the Smithsonian. At that time, Mississippi had no laws protecting the environment or wildlife.
A pioneer in conservation biology, Cooke started a campaign to create and implement laws protecting Mississippi’s ecology, securing funding from the Works Progress Administration to survey the state’s flora and fauna. The museum followed, housed under the Game and Fish Commission, now the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
A new, outdoor Dinosaur Trail permanent exhibit is now open at MDWFP’s Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
Nestled along one of the museum’s nature trails, you can see six large-scale, 3-D dinosaur models, including a Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Chasmosaurus, Nodosaurus, Appalachiosaurus, and an Eotrachodon with nest and newly hatched babies.
Along the way, learn a fascinating fact about each dinosaur as well as its height, length, weight, diet, and time period.
The Dinosaur Trail Project also includes several electric ride-on dinosaurs and “Blue” - a “dino-mite” large dinosaur costume that appears occasionally at the museum during special events.
The new trail officially opened on July 1, 2022, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the memory of the project’s benefactor, Gerard “Jerry” Case, a long-time friend of the museum.
Museum Tour Time:
1 hour (2 hours including Nature Trail tour) Hours: Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 1 pm-5 pm.
Adults: $8 Youth (Ages 3-18): $6 | Senior Citizens 60 and Over: $7 | Children Under 3: FREE | School Teachers with Classes: $3 per student
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Family Friendly
- Good for Groups
- Meeting/Event Space
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