Natural History Showcase

The EcoTarium was founded in 1825 as the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History, and is one of the oldest Natural History Museums in the United States. Our oldest specimen, a whale’s tooth, was collected that same year. We’ve been adding to our collection ever since, and now have approximately 50,000 specimens.

We have over 300 specimens on permanent display, and hundreds more that are available during special programs. Each quarter, we will pull one of the hidden gems from our collection to put on display.


Currently Exhibiting:
Celebrating the Year of the Dragon, 2024

The Lunar Calendar marks the time it takes for the moon to orbit the earth twelve times — the Lunar Calendar is 11 days shorter than the 365 days that it takes the earth to travel around the sun. Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year with the recognition of a zodiac animal for each year.

2024 is the Year of the Dragon, which is a symbol of pride, wealth, and good luck in many Asian cultures. This is a year for making decisions and taking risks! The Dragon is believed to be the emperor of the zodiac animals.

Our Dragon is a symbolic animal, combining the best parts of all other animals. It was imagined as having the head of a Crocodile (genus Crocodylus), the antlers of a Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the neck of a Snake (genus Pythus), and the claws of an Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), among many other parts. The EcoTarium has assembled items from our natural history collection to make the myth real.


Exhibit is included with admission.

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