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Identification Day

Part of Family Series

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The Museum celebrates natural history collections by inviting visitors to bring in their own specimens for our annual Identification Day. Get an up-close look at specimens from the Museum’s rarely seen collections, while scientists attempt to identify your discoveries. 

Participating sciences include: Anthropology, Botany, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Paleontology, Mammalogy, Microscopy, Ornithology, Paleontology, and Astronomy.

Take a look at the Museum's Flickr page featuring past Identification Days.

Before you come to Identification Day, here are a few tips that will help scientists identify your specimens:


  • Bring as much information on your specimens as possible. If it belongs to a friend or family member, try to get the information from them.


  • Please only bring plants that you have permission to collect.
  • Plant samples that have flowers or fruits (or both) are much easier to identify than those without.
  • Bring your plant sample in a zip-lock bag (this will keep the plant moist for easier identification and will avoid spreading pests in the Museum).
  • Please try to bring fresh (very recently collected) plant samples.


  • Bring as much information on your specimen as possible, especially its place of origin.

New this Year:
In conjunction with the exhibition Unseen Oceans, scientists will bring out some of our splashiest specimens from the sea! From penguins and whale bones to marina iguanas, enjoy this unique opportunity to examine rarely seen artifacts from the Museum's collection