Canadian Museum of Nature

by Judi “Scoop” McWilliams

Although Gary and I had visited Ottawa a number of time, we had never visited one of Ottawa’s many museums. On this visit we were destine to visit 3!

My favourite was the Canadian Museum of Nature.

I had been in touch with the Museum’s marketing department and had asked if it would be possible for a tour. They immediately said yes, and a tour date was arranged.

Dan Smythe, Senior Media Relations Officer for the Museum, was our guide.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is sectioned off into various exhibits. It’s hard to say which was my favourite, they were all so interesting!

As we moved from exhibit to exhibit, Dan explained how the Museum was set up. There was so much to take in!

One of the first exhibits we toured was the “Fossil Gallery“. It’s hard to believe that such huge animals roamed this earth so many years ago!

As explained on the Museum’s website, “The fossil gallery presents a unique look at the dramatic events that led to the extinction of dinosaurs and the rise of mammals approximately 85 to 35 million years ago.” The Museum offers so much history and information!

Several years ago we had visited Drumheller in Alberta. This is considered the “dinosaur capital of the world“. Our tour of the “Fossil Gallery” brought back many memories of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

The next exhibit we toured was the “Water Gallery“.

This where Dan suggested our Oh Canada Eh! Game question. “What is the largest animal ever know on the planet (earth)?” I’ll tell you the answer at the end of this article!

From the “Water Gallery” we moved on to the “Earth Gallery“. You likely don’t know this about me, but I collect “rocks” and love to learn about them.

The “Earth Gallery” was “my kind of gallery“! Poor Gary, he just had to stand and watched while I “gushed” over all the rock displays!

As we walked through the Canadian Museum of Nature, I was struck how amazing it was. Some of the “non” exhibits were just a interest as the “official” exhibits!

Upstairs in the Museum we were treated to more wonderful galleries. Our first was the “Mammal Gallery“.

One of the highlight of our visit to the “Mammal Gallery” was a”behind the scenes” tour of one of the “dioramas“. The thought, planning and execution of each display is impressive, to say the least!

The final exhibit that we visited was the “Bird Gallery“.

After visiting the “Bird Gallery“, we had a much greater understanding of the different species that are seen in Canada, especially in Ontario.

At the time, we didn’t realize that our tour of the Bird Gallery would be helpful in our daily life! This summer we “installed” two bird feeders and are trying to match them with what we learned at the Museum!

The Museums located in Ottawa are worth the visit. If you haven’t been to one yet, you should!

You might even meet one our “Ontario Visited Mascot“, GIFF’s relatives!

By the way, the answer to our Oh Canada Eh! Game ~ Canadian Museum of Nature question is the “Blue Whale“.

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