I Saw This Bird Once...

Visit the Ornithology FAQs page to find out more about the flying fauna in your neck of the woods.
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Support Today's Scientists, Inspire Tomorrow's Scientists

When you give to the Museum, you support our scientists' research on the planet's biodiversity. You are also creating tomorrow's scientists. Our teacher resources make each field trip a learning experience, our education outreach brings the science of discovery to schools all over L.A.
Donate to NHMLA Today!


Live Animals

Live Animal Programs

"But I thought the Museum only had dead stuff!"
Think again!  We are proud to present to you a Live Animal Program with over 100 species of animals from the tiny but powerful Harvester Ant, to the beefy Red-tailed Boa, all cared for by professional animal keepers.

"Why are they here?"
The Live Animal Program introduces visitors to creatures that are native to L.A. and from around the world, fostering intimate connections between people and wildlife by sharing amazing stories about animals that are often misunderstood or overlooked.

"How can I see them?"
Some of the Museum's live animals are housed behind the scenes and only come our for our daily presentations or event programming, while others can be found on display in the Nature Lab, Insect Zoo, or Butterfly and Spider Pavilions.

Awesome Displays

Our Nature Lab brings you closer to the fascinating stories of the native and invasive animals of Los Angeles.  These stories include the discovery of the invasive Brown Widow in L.A. by a Museum educator, the plight of the adorable California Newt and their fight for survival against Louisiana's Crayfish. You will also get to meet some of our favorite native animals including a beloved Southern Pacific Ratlesnake named "Juniper", and peep into the private lives of our plucky Havester Ants. Watching active, romping Norway rats over year head in an acrylic tower of fun will surely make you feel at one with L.A.'s wildlife!

Common Names of the live animals on display in the Nature Lab:

  • Norway Rats
  • Red-eared Slider
  • Western Pond Turtle
  • Harvester Ants
  • Brown and Black Widows
  • American Bullfrog
  • California Newt
  • Louisisna Crayfish
  • California Grey Tarantula
  • Mediterranean House Gecko
  • Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
  • San Diego Gopher Snake



Meet the Animals!

There is nothing that inspires a love of wildlife quite like meeting an animal up close and personal. During our scheduled programming, our friendly educators will share stories and insight into the natural history and personalities of our resident animals.

Many of our animals make appearances during our daily Meet a Live Animal presentations and at many of our festivals and wekened activities. Some of the animals a guest might meet include a boa constrictor named Rabbit, a tarantula named Bean, a Virginia opossum named Ham, and even a one-eyed, rescued owl by the name of Odin!


Why won't my snake eat? Where can I adopt a reptile? What kind of turtle do I have?
We often get questions from the public about the proper care of their pets, or questions about an animal they encountered in their backyard. We try to act a sa resource for responsible interactions with wildlife, large or small.

List of resources and links >