The Museum is not officially open to the public, but individual appointments and arrangements for school tours and scholarly researchers can be made.
Located in Belle Chasse, just outside the official city limits of New Orleans, the Tulane Museum of Natural History is a private, non-profit research museum which houses extensive collections of amphibians, invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and fossils, most of which are or were native species to the region.
The original museum was an exhibit oriented facility established in 1885 and funded by a grant from university founder and benefactor Paul Tulane. Currently the museum is administered through the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University.
Descriptions of the individual collections are as follows:
The Fish Section features the world's largest collection of post larval fishes"”more than 7 million specimens in more than 200,000 lots.
The Birds Section features the preserved skins of approximately 1,600 North and South American birds, including the extinct passenger pigeon, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker
The Amphibian and Reptile Sections consist of 27,700+ lots holding about 80,000 specimens, including snakes, turtles, frogs and other members of these species from Louisiana and the southeastern United States, plus Latin America and Australia
The Invertebrate Collections include nearly 7,000 lots and specimens of crustaceans (shrimp, crabs, crawfish), bivalve mollusks and other forms of deep-sea life, including some that are extinct or believed to be nearing extinction
The Mammal Collection includes about 9,400 catalogued specimens representing 19 orders and 62 families, largely from Louisiana, southeastern and southwestern United States, west Africa, southeast Asia, South America, and Australia
The Paleontology Collection (fossils) consists largely of marine and terrestrial vertebrates from various prehistoric eras, much of which was collected from the Avery Island and Tunica Hills section of Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi
The Tulane Natural History Museum is not officially open to the public, but individual appointments for scholarly researchers and writers can be made, as well as arrangements for school tours of the facility. Call well enough ahead of time to ensure that a staff member will be on hand to greet you.