The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma is the one of nation’s finest university-based museums. Fifty thousand square feet of exhibit space includes five breathtaking galleries and exhibits that give visitors an in-depth tour of more than 4 billion years of Oklahoma’s fascinating natural history.
The museum was founded in 1899 by an act of the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature, and opened the doors on its current state-of-the-art building in 2000. With more than 10 million objects and specimens in its collections, and 12 curators engaged in research projects around the World, the museum is a vital research division of the University of Oklahoma.
The visitor’s journey through museum exhibits begins in the new Orientation Gallery, a hands-on exploration of the museum behind the scenes, featuring some of the current research of museum scientists and a look at how collections are acquired, protected and studied. This gallery features hundreds of specimens and artifacts from museum collections, including a reconstruction of the 40-foot head and neck of Sauroposeidon proteles, the world’s tallest dinosaur, found in Oklahoma in 1994.
The Hall of Ancient Life takes visitors on an adventure through time. The Paleozoic gallery, opened in spring 2009, introduces some of the strange and bizarre creatures that lived in Oklahoma more than 300 million years ago, and includes a walk-through coal swamp forest diorama. This gallery also features some of the mightiest giants ever to walk the earth: the world’s largest Apatosaurus; Saurophaganax, Oklahoma’s fierce Jurassic predator; and Pentaceratops, whose ten and a half foot skull is the largest in the world. A glass elevator takes visitors up 26 feet to meet the world’s largest Apatosaurus eye-to-eye.
Cafe, Shop and Hours of Operation:
The museum also features the tasty Redbud Café, offering a variety of light lunch fare, desserts and gourmet coffee. Excavations, the museum’s gift shop, offers a wide variety of gifts for every budget: from fine jewelry and accessories to educational toys and books.
The museum offers educational programs for children and adults throughout the year, including school and scout group programs, family programs, field trips, lectures, films and workshops. Museum facilities may be rented after hours for special events such as banquets, receptions and weddings.