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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Come face-to-face with more than 200 examples of the Earth’s extraordinary mammal diversity.

Ever wanted to look a koala, a hippopotamus, or a gorilla in the eye? This is your chance. These meticulously preserved specimens highlight the incredible variety of colors, sizes, and evolutionary adaptions in the mammal family—from the tiny Spix's disk-winged bat to the massive walrus.

Classified by continent and habitat, the animals in this exhibition range from the familiar (Eastern gray squirrel) to the rare (the okapi, a central African mammal so shy scientists didn’t know it existed until the early 1900s). In the Evolution Theater, an eight-minute film surveys the mammal family tree and the vast changes its members have been through in the past 225 million years.


  • A bronze recreation of Morganucadon oehleri, the earliest-known mammal, which lived 210 million years ago
  • A white rhinoceros collected by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909
  • A short-beaked echidna, one of only five species of monotremes, or egg-laying mammals.


  • Reach into a hibernating squirrel’s burrow and feel how low its body temperature can drop.
  • Listen to bushbabies (small primates also called galagos) calling to each other in the tree canopy of a central African woodland.
  • Discover the three important features that all mammals—including us!—have in common.

Find This Hall

The Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals is located on the first floor.

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Museum Map (PDF 4.1MB)

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