Top 10 Museum news stories 2014
31 December 2014
From research into rivers of rubbish and 800,000-year-old human footprints to the arrival of unprecedented new specimens, catch up on the most popular stories from 2014.
Deep sea littered with plastic debris
17 December 2014
Deep-sea sediments are accumulating tiny fragments of plastic in surprisingly high concentrations, scientists have discovered.
Blood test could help detect early breast cancer
15 December 2014
Early-stage breast cancer could soon be caught using a blood test. The simple test could replace invasive biopsies as the first port of call for diagnosing the disease.
Laser technique wins innovation award
4 December 2014
Museum researchers are part of an international team that has won a prestigious engineering award for a new laser-based prospecting method.
Come and meet the world’s most complete Stegosaurus
Our newest dinosaur goes on permanent display in the Museum’s Earth Hall today, greeting visitors through the Exhibition Road entrance.
40,000-year-old flesh brings mammoth cloning closer
24 November 2014
An autopsy of the best-preserved mammoth ever found has yielded flesh and blood, possibly paving the way for mammoth cloning.
Evolution pioneer’s illegible notebook brought back to life
20 November 2014
Hyperspectral imaging allows us to read for the first time one of Alfred Russel Wallace's notebooks that was ruined in a shipwreck.
skeleton to be unveiled at the Museum
15 November 2014
The world’s most complete Stegosaurus skeleton will go on display on 4 December.
Intricacies of insect evolution revealed
7 November 2014
Insects evolved at the same time as the earliest land plants around 480 million years ago and shaped Earth's early ecosystems.
Gum disease worse now than in Roman Britain
24 October 2014
Roman-era skulls show far less gum disease than modern Brits, due to the invention of smoking and the rise in diabetes.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 winners announced
21 October 2014
A pride of lions and a scorpion in the Sun scoop the top prizes.
The fishy origins of sex
20 October 2014
The world's oldest vertebrate sex organs, found in 385-million-year-old fish, prove sex is a lot older than we thought.
Invasion of the giant spiders? Not quite
17 October 2014
Are giant spiders invading Britain's homes? Find out if that eight-legged beast in your bathtub is dangerous with Museum expert Stuart Hine.
Jurassic sea crocs lived similar lives to their modern relatives
15 October 2014
The lifestyles of extinct marine crocs mirror those of today's living groups.
Insect cells could create everlasting paints
7 October 2014
A new technique for producing cells from butterflies and beetles could pave the way for paint colours that never fade.
Livingstone beetle specimens found after 150 years
19 September 2014
The only beetles collected by Dr David Livingstone have been discovered at the Museum 150 years after he brought them back from the Zambezi River expedition in Africa.
Blow-by-blow account of Richard III’s final moments
17 September 2014
The details of Richard III’s bloody battlefield death have been revealed for the first time through CT scanning of his suspected skeleton.
A History of Life in 100 Fossils
15 September 2014
Take a journey through life on Earth in a new book that explores our most iconic fossils.
Rare Greenland shark specimen preserved at the Museum
8 September 2014
The first complete Greenland shark specimen has been preserved for research at the Museum after washing up on a Northumberland beach last autumn.
Fishing-bait bloodworms have bee-sting bites
6 September 2014
Scientists studying the venom of bloodworms for the first time have discovered why it can cause severe allergic reactions similar to that of a bee sting.
Hippos make a splash return to the River Thames
2 September 2014
Hippos once roamed freely across ancient Britain, and now they’ve returned to London after 125,000 years as a giant hippo sculpture is erected on the Thames.
Revealed: four Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 images
26 August 2014
The first award-winning images from almost 42,000 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition entries are released today.
Neanderthals and humans had ample time for interbreeding
20 August 2014
Accurate dating of 40 sites across Europe shows that Neanderthals and humans overlapped by as much as 5,400 years.
First samples of dust from outside the solar system
14 August 2014
Microscopic particles brought back to Earth by the Stardust mission are likely the first examples of interstellar dust.
Meteorites expose Moon surface formation
11 August 2014
Lunar meteorites reveal the diverse composition of the Moon's crust, contrary to a theory based on Apollo samples.
Flowering plants revolutionised life on Earth
8 August 2014
New evidence from primitive plants and beetles shows how the evolution of flowering plants caused a boom in land-based life.
First Venezuelan dinosaur was a social animal
6 August 2014
One of the earliest examples of dinosaurs living in herds has been found in a remote region of Venezuela.
Dinosaurs doing well before asteroid impact
28 July 2014
Contrary to previous suggestions, most dinosaurs were likely not declining before the impact wiped them out.
Survey debunks myth of 'flying ant day'
23 July 2014
Warm humid weather means clouds of flying ants, probably several times this summer.
Prince George poses for birthday photo at Museum
22 July 2014
Royal visit to the butterfly house provides perfect backdrop for official pictures.
Different on the inside
18 July 2014
In a rare case of internal differences between the sexes, the males of one fish genus have a swimbladder up to 98 times the volume of the females'.
King of Cambrian predators had brain of a worm
16 July 2014
Spectacular fossil brain discovery leads to rethink of the evolution of arthropods
Butterfly collection pinpoints brilliance of mimicry
10 July 2014
Research using the Museum's Lepidoptera collection has revealed how butterfly species continually evolve to avoid predation.
Proof of the yeti? Not quite yet
9 July 2014
DNA analysis of 30 hairs attributed to yetis and other 'anomalous primates' reveals no unknown species.
Sink your teeth into our bat festival
4 July 2014
Join us this weekend for events and activities celebrating the secret lives of bats.
New miniature fish discovered
1 July 2014
A new fish species measuring up to 15.4mm has been discovered in the Rio Negro in Brazil.
Nature's genius: Dive deep, stay dry
29 June 2014
Deep-diving birds emerge from water nearly dry using a trick that could be copied in new fabrics.
Museum Mars expert on a soapbox
26 June 2014
Women scientists, including the Museum's Mars expert Natasha Stephen, will discuss their work on South Bank this Saturday 29 June 2014.
Jonathan Ross launches National Insect Week at the Museum
24 June 2014
A week of events celebrating insects begins in the Wildlife Garden.
Missing human fossils rediscovered
23 June 2014
A treasure trove of important human fossils missing for decades has been identified among the Museum’s collections.
Grandpa Neanderthal? ‘Pit of bones’ clues suggest closer link
20 June 2014
New research confirms the theory that modern humans and Neanderthals had a common ancestor about 500,000 years ago.
Museum Director recognised in Birthday Honours List
13 June 2014
Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, has been conferred the honour of Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced today.
Help stem the Asian shore crab invasion
12 June 2014
Scientists ask the public to look out for a new alien pest after the first sightings in Britain.
Universities Week gets off to an explosive start
10 June 2014
Come and discuss cutting edge science with students from universities around the UK.
Spectacular corals exhibition planned for March 2015
8 June 2014
The Museum and the Catlin Group Limited have announced a new exhibition to explore life beneath the waves, opening next spring.
‘Extinct’ creature discovered alive and well
6 June 2014
A microscopic marine animal thought to have died out four million years ago has been found living in seas around New Zealand.
Clever enemy could control invasive plant pest
4 June 2014
A tiny rust fungus could save the UK millions by halting the spread of the Himalayan balsam.
Museum opens wide for giant crocodile tooth
30 May 2014
Tooth of ferocious marine reptile is largest of its kind found in the UK.
NASA suggests humans could be on Mars by 2035
15 February 2018
NASA's chief scientist tells the European Lunar Symposium that people on the surface of the red planet is the Agency's 'primary mission'.
Emotional welcome for 'beautiful' mammoth Lyuba
23 May 2014
Debut of baby mammoth specimen proves well worth the wait.
Museum launches tree identification app
22 May 2014
Created by Museum botanists, Leafsnap UK helps users match leaves to their trees.
Invasion of the Asian hornet? Not yet!
4 October 2018
Vespa velutina is travelling through France, but has not yet been seen in the UK.
Central Hall renamed following £5m gift
8 May 2014
Museum's main hall to be renamed Hintze Hall after an unprecedented £5m donation.
Tick danger: how to protect yourself from Lyme disease
25 April 2014
An increase in ticks in the UK means we need to be more aware of the health risk.
Winner of grounds redesign competition revealed
22 April 2014
The jury of the Museum grounds redesign competition has today announced the winning team of architects.
Secretive species: Museum hits amphibian milestone
15 April 2014
Museum scientists identify the 200th caecilian, a weird and wonderful group of little-known amphibians.
From Russia with love: baby mammoth on way to Museum
13 April 2014
UK debut for Lyuba the 42,000-year-old infant mammoth in the Mammoths: Ice Age Giants exhibition.
Breakthrough DNA study could slow big cat extinction
11 April 2014
New research into lion genes could help scientists boost numbers.
Earliest heart and blood discovered
7 April 2014
Exceptional preservation reveals a 520-million-year-old cardiovascular system.
Lord Green appointed Chair of the Natural History Museum
2 April 2014
Former Minister of State for Trade and Investment joins the Museum's Board of Trustees for a four year appointment.
Museum flicks the switch for Earth Hour 2014
13 February 2017
At 20.30 this Saturday 29 March, the Museum will go dark in support of a worldwide environmental campaign.
Letter from 1909 could solve missing fish riddle
26 March 2014
Document found in Museum's archive suggests the river blenny was wiped out on Cyprus.
Are you tough enough? A deadly new exhibition opens at Tring
24 March 2014
A line up of specimens of the world's most dangerous creatures is waiting to greet you.
Connect with @NHM_London for #MuseumWeek on Twitter
19 March 2014
Join the conversation between curators, scientists, staff and visitors during the inaugural #MuseumWeek 24-30 March.
Museum research defames celebrity amphibian
17 March 2014
Scientists discover that a reportedly lungless amphibian that overturned an evolutionary theory actually has a lung and working nostrils.
Ode to a dodo: new music and research released
13 March 2014
Harpsichord composition and evidence in Japan perpetuate the great myth of the dodo.
Women in natural sciences: International Women's Day 2014
12 February 2018
Focusing on projects at the Museum run by women, and announcing our Women Artists exhibition.
Museum jumps a place in league table
5 March 2014
Natural History Museum moves up from fourth to third place in table of visitors to free UK attractions.
Size matters as fish species splits in two
3 March 2014
Evolution in action as small fish in a big pond lose out.
Spectacular fossil site discovery intrigues scientists
20 February 2014
New ancient animal species uncovered in Canadian Rockies.
NASA scientist arrives to scan Apollo 14 Moon rock
Museum scans of 3.9-billion-year-old Apollo Moon rock could expose new insights into the Moon's geological history.
Dick and Dom and Darwin
CBBC presenters discuss barnacle penises and Darwin's pet tortoise in the tank room.
The pros and cons of dating a Neanderthal
3 February 2014
Breeding with Neanderthals allowed our ancestors to better cope with European winters, but also passed on diseases we suffer today.
Natural History Museum at Tring wins £76,000 grant
Wolfson Foundation funding will allow the Museum to create a permanent display in the Rothschild Room.
Inside the mind of a volcano
As the new Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery prepares to blast open, Museum volcanologist talks about predicting disasters and exploring off limits on the slopes of volcanoes.
Found: one beaver
24 January 2014
Mystery beaver spotted in Devon could be the first wild case recorded in England since they were hunted to extinction.
Museum botanist issues warnings on invasive species
Dr Mark Spencer gives evidence to Parliamentary committee on environmental impact of invasive non-native species.
Comet-chaser prepares to probe the early solar system
Search for Earth's building blocks heats up as Rosetta nears its target.
Skulls suggest Romans in London enjoyed human blood sports
Forensic testing reveals more about remains discovered 30 years ago.
Listening to birdsong a forgotten pleasure
Survey suggests few of us recognise the sounds of garden birds.
New lobster species named for Nelson Mandela
Lobster discovered in South African waters named after the country's remarkable leader.
Children embrace Plastic in the Thames campaign
13 January 2014
A successful weekend event at the Museum highlights the ongoing problem of plastic pollution.
Ancient hunter-gatherers' diet gave them toothache
Research suggests tooth decay was prevalent in earlier human societies.
London's river of rubbish
Unseen toxic stream of plastic flows below Thames surface.