Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Weather :

Time Required : 1 - 2 hours

Entry Fee : Singaporeans and PRs: SGD 9 - SGD 16,
Foreigners: SGD 13 - SGD 21

Timings : Tuesday - Sunday, Public Holidays: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Singapore Overview

Trace the history of life on earth at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, a fascinating and comprehensive look at the biodiversity of the planet, housed at the Kent Ridge Park campus of the prestigious National University of Singapore. This comprehensive museum possesses a catalogue of over 560,000 specimens, including the Raffles Natural History Collection.

With 2,000 specimens on public exhibition, one can't help but marvel at the rich biodiversity, both past and present, as they explore this seven-storeyed structure. Interactive displays throughout the museum help visitors gain a deeper understanding of the complex ecosystems that exist throughout the world, particularly those of the region of Southeast Asia. The humungous trio of Prince, Apollonia and Twinky are sure to astound you, being one of the most intact fossils of the large sauropod dinosaurs, aged more than a million years. Landscaped areas surround the building, recreating the natural habitats of the native plants. The phylogenetic garden displays the evolutionary history of the plant life of the region, showcasing the vivid diversity of the plant kingdom.

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History of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

The concept of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum was first created by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. A natural history collection showcasing Southeast Asian biodiversity was started at the Raffles Museum in 1849, which has now been revamped as the National Museum of Singapore. In 1972, this collection was given to the Zoology Department of the National University of Singapore by the government. When the Lee Kong Natural History Museum was officially established in 2015, the Raffles Natural History collection was given to them, among the many exhibits and specimen they now contain.

Sightseeing at the Lee Kong Chian History Museum

Spread over 8,500 square metres in a seven-storeyed green building, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is home to some of the most fascinating specimen showcasing the biodiversity of Southeast Asia as it has been present in the region over the millennia.
  • Dinosaurs: The museum's trio of diplodocid sauropod fossils are sure to capture your attention, being one of the largest and heaviest creatures to walk the land in the history of the earth. These fossils are more than 80% complete, with two of the exhibits presenting with skulls, making them one of the rarest dinosaur discoveries on the planet.
  • Jubi Lee Whale Exhibit: The first sperm whale to ever be found in Singapore washed up on its shores in 2015, and has been a part of the museum's Mammal zone gallery ever since, measuring about 10.6 m.
  • Remnants of the Changi Tree: The tree that gave Changi its name, chengal pasir, was thought to be extinct until 2002, when a lone specimen was found. However, this tree was later illegally cut down, with its remnants now finding its place at this museum.
  • Neptune's Cup Sponge: Over-harvested due to its scientific and commercial value, the Neptune's Cup Sponge was thought to be globally extinct for more than a century until it 2011, when it was rediscovered at Singapore's southern shores, finding a special place at this museum.
  • Leatherback Turtle: The only known sighting of the elusive Leatherback Turtle on Singapore shores more than a century ago is now one of the prime treasures of this museum, housed in the Heritage Gallery.
  • Sunda Pangolin: Hunted to the point of global endangerment due to the appeal of its meat and scales, the Sunda Pangolin exhibit at the museum is probably one of the easiest sightings of this adorable creature in the world.

Galleries at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

There are two major galleries at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, further divided into thematic zones in order to fully explore the history of the rich biodiversity spread across the region of Southeast Asia.
  • Biodiversity Gallery: The diversity of life on the Earth can be seen at this gallery, with special attention given to the flora and fauna found in Southeast Asia. The wide variety of the different organisms are spread across multiple themed zones in this gallery, represented by branches of the Tree of Life.
  • Heritage Gallery: Witness the history of the collections of the museum, which were originally a part of the Raffles Museum set up during colonial rule. The original specimens inherited from the Raffles collection can now be found around this gallery.

Collections at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

There are two major collections at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, within which the extensive accumulation of the exhibits of this museum have been segregated.
  • The NUS Herbarium (SINU): All the plant exhibits of the museum, including the 30,000 flowering plants, 1,660 ferns, 700 moss species, 100 liverworts and 1,235 marine algae fall under this collection. The main focus here is the diverse flora of Singapore and Malaysia, specifically those falling under the vascular and bryophyte categories.
  • The Zoological Reference Collections (ZRC): Inherited from the former Raffles Museum, this collection contains over 10,000 different species of members of the Animal Kingdom, showcasing the rich biodiversity of Southeast Asian wildlife. This collection is renowned amongst the global zoological community, responsible for a lot of research and publications.

Lee Kong Natural History Museum Garden

The gardens at the Lee Kong Natural History Museum aim at preserving and showcasing the gorgeous and diverse habitats present throughout the earth while educating visitors on the long journey undergone by the plant kingdom to their present status. The phylogenetic garden of the museum showcases the wide variety of plants from prehistoric times to the current era, starting off with the small algae and moss, progressing all the way to the towering and dense forest trees.

Gallery Tour at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Spanning a duration of 1 hour 30 minutes, the Gallery tour at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum takes participants through a guided tour of the biodiversity and heritage galleries where they will be able to view a wide variety of the specimens held here, learning additional fun facts given out by the guides at the museum. It costs SGD 24 per person, including GST and entrance fee. The minimum size of these groups is 15 people.

Museum Shop at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

One can find a host of unique souvenirs, exhibit replicas and themed t-shirts at the Museum Shop here to commemorate your visit to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. A range of reference books and educational material can also be found here.

Tips For Visiting Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Organised group visits and bulk purchases of more than 41 tickets should contact the museum at [email protected] prior to their arrival.

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