Discovery Room
Leaf Cutter Ant
Photo by Alex Wild

Come see our live, tropical leaf-cutter ant colony. You'll see ants, like this worker, use their jaws like scissors to cut leaves. Discover what the ants do with these leaf pieces.

The Discovery Room is one of the most popular destinations at the Yale Peabody Museum, visited by more than 60,000 people a year. Full of touchable specimens and hands-on activities, the Discovery Room also houses interesting live animals from both around the world and right in your own backyard — endangered poison dart frogs from South America, giant hissing cockroaches from Madagascar, tropical leaf-cutter ants from Trinidad, a bearded dragon from Australia, and harmless eastern milk and rat snakes from New England.

The Yale Peabody Museum’s Discovery Room is a chance for families, and especially children ages 5 to 12, to explore the Museum’s collections.

The Discovery Room’s most important rule is “Please Touch!”

Filled with a large sampling of materials that reflect the Museum's impressive collection of 12 million specimens and artifacts, the Peabody's Discovery Room is a place where children, accompanied by adults, can discover natural history through a variety of hands-on games using artifacts and specimens, including challenges such as:


  • Try to find all 16 colorful live poison dart frogs
    in their the rainforest habitat
  • Touch a 100-million-year-old fossil
  • See a human hair magnified more than 20 times under the Scope On A Rope
  • Count how long it takes for a leaf-cutter ant to carry a leaf across the tube to the fungus garden
  • Learn to identify tree bark by touch
  • Walk on replicas of dinosaur tracks
  • Connect the bones of a rabbit

See live giant silk moth caterpillars feeding!


The Discovery Room is located on the second floor of the Yale Peabody Museum and is free with general admission during regular hours. To avoid overcrowding, entry into the Discovery Room is staggered and space may be limited.