Very Hungry Vertebrates | Nantucket, MA
Exploring Nantucket Island Science

Visit the Animals All Winter

The Maria Mitchell Association is excited to announce that the Natural Science Museum will be open on Saturdays this winter from 10 am to 2 pm, with an early morning program called Very Hungry Vertebrates.

“We are delighted to offer year-round families and winter visitors an opportunity to enjoy our Natural Science Museum with all our new hands-on exhibits and interesting animals” said Executive Director David Gagnon.

Very Hungry Vertebrates | Nantucket, MA The Natural Science Museum is located at 7 Milk Street and is a great way to pass the winter weekends with children of all ages. There are live animals, all found on Nantucket or its surrounding waters, including a bullfrog, jellyfish, turtles, snakes, and tropical fish. The tropical fish were found around Nantucket, but are not native species; they find their way up in summer trapped in warm core eddies. This winter the Natural Science Museum is hosting animals that have never been on display at the Maria Mitchell Association before, including the Ocyropsis crystalline, which is a type of comb jelly, and the bioluminescent crystal jellyfish. Marine exhibits will rotate throughout the winter and will feature new species in the future. The museum has interactive educational exhibits, where children can learn while playing, as well as biological collections, fossils, and a topography table where imaginary landscapes can come alive.

From 9 to 9:40 am, before the museum opens, the MMA will host Very Hungry Vertebrates. Participants can watch staff feed the snakes, fish, turtles, and tortoise and learn about the animals’ feeding ecology and how they are affected by seasons. The program is $10 ($5 for MMA members). Limited space is available, so pre-registration at is recommended.

Saturday hours are 10 am to 2 pm (closed Nov. 24); admission is just $5 (free to members). Memberships can be purchased at, membership purchased before the end of 2018 will be valid through 2019.

Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a newly opened research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell.

Articles by Date from 2012