Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum
and Montana Comparative Skeletal Collection

The University of Montana

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Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum and Montana Comparative Skeletal Collection



      Although the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum is primarily a research museum, there are a few

opportunities to see specimens from the collection on display around the community of Missoula and

state of Montana. We have two large and four small display cases on the 5th floor of the Mansfield

Library, and two on the 1st floor of the Health Sciences building, both located on the UM campus.     

From the primate display on the 5th floor of the Mansfield Library.  Photo by E. Graslie

Above: A detail of the Primates display, an exhibit on the 5th floor of the Mansfield Library. 


Upcoming Exhibits:

Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) collected by Philip Wright, C. F. Hedges, and Morton John Elrod.



Historic Specimens of the UMZM:  This exhibit will focus on the early biologists and naturalists whose contributions helped lay the foundation for the museum as we know it today. Highlighted will be Morton John Elrod, P. M. Silloway, C. F. Hedges, and Dr. Philip Wright. Opening in the Fall of 2012!





Off-Campus Exhibits

The Hornaday - Smithsonian Bison Exhibit: Located at Ft. Benton, Montana, the famous Bison (Bos bison) in this exhibit have

been around for nearly 120 years!

Montana Natural History Center:  Located at 120 Hickory Street in Missoula, Montana, the MNHC hosts many of our over

sized live mounted individuals, including three grizzly brown bears (Ursus arctos), a few mountain goats (Oreamnos

americanus), two examples of American bison (Bos bison) exchanged with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural

History, as well as an array of small mammals and historic birds. Visit their website to learn more!

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Located at the RMEF Headquarters here in Missoula, Montana, the exhibits contains several

shoulder mount Bull Elk (Cervus elaphus)

Valley County Pioneer Museum: Located in Glasgow, Montana, the exhibits contain a full-body mount Audubon's Sheep (Ovis



Past Exhibits


Soon to be picture of ornithological collections exhibit

Museum Collections:

  An Ornithologocal Perspective

 Opened August 2006

This exhibit highlights the vast ornithological collections housed at the museum.  Examples of the various types of preservation methods used in the collections can be viewed, including: full-body mounts, skeletons, study skins, nests, eggs and more.  Some specimens from this part of the collection are in excess of 100 years old and were collected around the world, from Montana to China!  


Herbarium Exhibit

Selections from the UM


February 2006 - July 2007

Constructed by Melisa Beveridge (pictured at right), former UM student and Herbarium employee, this exhibit showcased the diversity of specimens that are housed in the Herbarium collections. Also featured were original botanical illustrations by Melisa.




Horn and Antler Exhibit

Forks, Branches, and


Horns and Antlers: What's The


February 2005 - July 2006

Discussed the structural differences between antlers, true horns, and the unique horns of the pronghorn.  The exhibit featured the collections and research of Dr. Bart O'Gara.  Funding for this case was made possible   through a generous donation from Wilma O'Gara


  Bart's Birds Exhibit


Bart's Birds:

A Selection Of Birds From Around

The World

May 2004 - January 2006


From African Hoopoes to Eurasian Capercaillies! This exhibit featured mounted heads that Dr. Bart O'Gara collected during his travels.  The collection represented spans nearly 80 years, from 1923 to 2003!



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