Islands: Evolving in Isolation

Photo courtesy: Harvard Museum of Natural History
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With bizarre woodpecker-like primates, dwarf humans, and flightless birds over nine feet tall, islands are havens for some of the most unusual creatures on our planet. Why are islands such hotspots of biodiversity and how does evolution work within these isolated pockets of life?

Photo courtesy: Harvard Museum of Natural History
Photo courtesy: Harvard Museum of Natural History

Islands: Evolving in Isolation is a new Harvard Museum of Natural History exhibition that unravels the mysteries of island biodiversity and evolution.

Packed with examples from around the globe, the exhibition brings together an enormous array of plant and animal specimens, including lizards, giant pitcher plants, hissing cockroaches, Galápagos tortoises, New Guinea birds of paradise, Malagasy lemurs, a remarkable Komodo dragon from the Indonesian islands, and a rare fossil cast of Homo floresiensis, a relative of modern humans.

An exhibition full of surprises, Islands: Evolving in Isolation will highlight some of the latest research and discoveries made by Harvard scientists.

Supported by the National Science Foundation and a generous gift from Dr. John Freedman AB ‘84.

Museum Hours:

Open daily
9:00 am to 5:00 pm


The museum is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, just past Harvard Yard.

(Courtesy Harvard Gazette and Harvard Museum of Natural History.)


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