Entrance hall

The exhibits in this gallery were renovated in 2003 with funding from the Ministère de la culture et des communications (Quebec).

Back to the Sea

Back to the Sea

An exhibit on marine vertebrates whose ancestors were terrestrial. Here you will find whales, seals and sea turtles alongside extinct marine reptiles that lived at the same time as dinosaurs, including ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and marine crocodiles. Together these animals show the diversity of form and function in secondarily aquatic vertebrates.

The ancestors of all reptiles and mammals came from the sea; some groups have subsequently returned to their original home. The Entrance Hall shows whales, seals and turtles as well as extinct groups such as plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs.

The Entrance Hall also includes a general introduction to the exhibits, centred around a diorama depicting the sea floor in the region of Montreal during the Ordovician period, 450 million years ago.

Second floor

Dawson Gallery

The exhibits in this gallery were renovated in 2003 with funding from the Ministère de la culture et des communications (Quebec).

Teaching exhibits about the geological history and biological diversity of Quebec from the earliest times down to the present. Material from other parts of Canada is also included. This exhibit uses fossil specimens from the Museum collections to show some of the most remarkable events in the history of life on Earth: from the earliest trace fossils in the Ediacaran of Newfoundland, to the strange creatures of the Burgess Shale that arose from the Cambrian explosion in the Rocky Mountains. From the Devonian expansion of life from the sea onto land at Miguasha, the Gaspé, and Joggins, Nova Scotia to the rise of the dinosaurs in western Canada. From the mammoths of the last ice age to the whales of the post-glacial sea that covered the St. Lawrence Lowlands and River Valley.
Featured dinosaur specimens include a full-size Gorgosaurus libratus, our new Triceratops skull (collected under permit from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum), Dromaeosaurus albertensis, a relative of the well-known Velociraptor, and the skull of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Quebec Biodiversity

Quebec biodiversity

In honour of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity the Redpath Museum has created a new permanent exhibition: Quebec Biodiversity / La biodiversité du Québec.

Biodiversity comprises all forms of life on Earth: mammals, reptiles,plants, insects, fungi, bacteria, algae — and humans as well. Species must constantly interact with one another simply to continue to exist. Our successful survival depends entirely on biological diversity and the resources that our planet provides. This exhibit about Quebec's Biodiversity increases awareness of and re-asserts respect for the province's natural environment. At the back of the Dawson Gallery, near the windows.

Endangered and Extinct Species

Includes two mounted Passenger Pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius), juvenile Labrador duck (Captorhynchus labradorius), a Carolina Parakeet (Cornuropsis carolinensis), isolated bones of the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus), the Eskimo Curlew (Nmenilus borealis) and the Stellar’s Sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas).

The Darwin Letter


Recently donated by the Estate of the late Dr. Bruce Trigger (McGill Anthropology), and his wife Dr. Barbara Welch (McGill Geography), a handwritten letter and photogravure from 1877 form the centrepiece of this new exhibit about Darwin's connections to McGill. Accented with fossils, a herbarium specimen (on loan from the McGill Herbarium), and the 4th edition of Darwin's landmark book "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" (on loan from McGill Rare Books and Special Collections), this exhibit highlights the important role of natural history collection, documentation, and preservation in 19th century science.

Minerals from Quebec

The mineral exhibits in this gallery were renovated in 2003 with funding from the Ministère de la culture et des communications (Quebec).

Mineral display

Quebec has produced a greater variety of minerals than any other region in Canada, including minerals from several world-famous localities.

Second floor

Hodgson Gallery

The Hodgson Gallery  

Conchologycitus: The Abe Levine Shell Collection

Showcasing over 1,200 gem-quality shells never displayed before, this exhibit honours the philanthropy of Abe Levine, Quebec's premiere mollusc collector.

Third floor

World cultures exhibits

Third-floor ethnology collections 

Photo by K. DobbinMummy from permanent collection

There are approximately 1000 cultural objects (household and ceremonial items, ornaments, musical instruments) displayed in the Museum’s newly installed World Cultures (Ethnology) Gallery, including archaeological material from ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and Mesoamerica, and 19th and 20th century artefacts from Asia, Oceania, South America, and Africa. Many of these objects have been in McGill University’s collections for over one hundred years. The Egyptian exhibits feature two New Kingdom mummies circa 1500 BCE, a Ptolemaic mummy (330-30 BCE), several mummified animals, and an interactive computer display on mummies and Ancient Egypt.

Redpath Museum Mummies' Facial Reconstructions

Thanks to skeletal data from recent CT scans and radiocarbon analyses, a forensic artist from John Abbott College and physical anthropologists from Western University were able to reconstruct the faces of three Redpath Museum mummies. The results of this facial reconstruction project show a young man and a young woman, as well as a white-haired matron, as they all might have appeared before their deaths. PHOTO: Victoria Lywood


Outside the Museum

Geological garden

Rock garden

Located just to the side of the main stairs, the geological garden contains samples of minerals and fossils from Canada.