Often described as a ‘museum of a museum’, this important Victorian building dates to 1856 and was built to house the Royal
Dublin Society’s growing zoological collections, which had expanded continually since the late 18th century.
2. An Irish explorer
On your way into the Museum, meet the Irish explorer Thomas Heazle Parke, whose statue stands guard at the front of the building. In 1887, Parke was part of an 8,000 kilometre expedition across Africa, up the Congo, and through the Ituri rainforest, before reaching Lake Albert.
3. Giant Irish Deer
The giant Irish deer skeletons found at the entrance of the Museum are some of the most famous and distinctive animals on display here. One of the skeletons has an antler span of 3.5 metres.
4. Irish wildlife
See some animal families in the Irish wildlife display on the ground floor. The badger family is a firm favourite and is one of a series of very popular exhibits made by the Dublin taxidermy firm of Williams & Son., who produced ‘family groups’ of badgers, otters and pine martens.
5. The Wonder Cabinet
Get up close to a wide range of real and replica specimens at this new interactive zone in the Museum. Highlights include a Spotted Hyena jawbone fossil and a Peregrine Falcon.
Meet the Museum mascot, Spotticus the Giraffe, who even has his own Twitter account. He came to live in Dublin in 2003 and is a Rothchild’s Giraffe, a subspecies of giraffe that is endangered in Africa today.
8. Go on an activity trail
Younger visitors can explore the Collections with a fun activity sheet. Family favourites include My Favourite Animal or the seasonal trail series.