[Vancouver Museum] Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Beaty Biodiversity Museum is the only natural history museum in Metro Vancouver and is one of the many museums and gardens in the University of British Columbia (UBC). I visited this museum with my family on the Family Day Sunday. It was different from what I expected.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum Whale
The blue whale at the entrance

What We Did

The museum is located in the heart of UBC, surrounded by similar-looking buildings. There is no on-site parking. We parked at the nearest Health Sciences Parkade (2250 Health Sciences Mall) and had to use Google Map to get to the museum. It was already quite an adventure.

The entrance featured the skeleton of the blue whale. We all learn from school that they are the longest mammal on earth, but it was the first time seeing it with my own eyes. This particular blue whale is 26 meters long, which was beyond my imagination.

The museum is more like an archive. There are about 20 rows of cabinets in the huge main area with displays of current and extinct species. The specimens are organized in six collections, including cowan tetrapod (animals with four limbs), herbarium, fish, and fossil. I loved the tetrapod section the most. There were lots of specimens of mammals and birds in the first few cabinets near the entrance. Current and extinct fossils and bones were displayed together for comparison.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum Goat
Beaty Biodiversity Museum Goat
Beaty Biodiversity Museum Mammal Skulls
Different Mammal Skulls

The cabinets in the middle are for plants and fish. I found them a bit less intriguing because I don’t know the evolution of plants that well. Most fish specimens were soaked in liquid. They are also smaller and thus hard to be observed. The very last row was dedicated to fossil animals including dinosaurs. I think the below fossil of the footprints is the most precious.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum Footprints
Beaty Biodiversity Museum Footprints


This museum didn’t really meet my expectation because I really really want to visit one with lots of fossils and natural history. I think it features more current creatures than ancient ones. Nonetheless, it is still a great place to learn about the biodiversity of our planet Earth. The blue whale is magnificent and a must-see! The tickets are on sale on Groupon which is another big plus.

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