Arizona Museum of Natural History, Mesa, AZ

The Arizona Museum of Natural History (AMNH), previously the Mesa Southwest Museum, is the only museum in the Phoenix metropolitan area devoted exclusively to the study of natural history. The culture and history of the American Southwest are on exhibit.

The Mesa Southwest Museum, which premiered in 1977 for the first time with a modest collection of Arizona items, was originally housed in the Lescher & Mahoney-designed and WPA-funded Mesa City Hall, together with the city’s municipal courts, library, police, and fire departments. Three additions were made to the original building: in 1983, 1987, and 2000. 

The museum’s main complex is 74,000 square feet (6,900 square meters), with about 46,000 square feet (4,300 square meters) dedicated to exhibition space. These displays showcase the museum’s collection of approximately 60,000 artifacts spanning the fields of natural history, anthropology, history, and art, as well as its extensive archive of approximately 10,000 photographs. 

The complex also features a laboratory that was constructed in 1995. The museum is home to some of the best experts in the fields of paleontology and archaeology/anthropology in the world. The Arizona Museum of Natural History was rechristened in 2007. There were about 139,998 visitors last year.

Natural History is mostly paleontology (the study of extinct species) at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. The Natural History Section at AzMNH is responsible for the museum’s fossil collections, including their research, documentation, processing, preservation, and study. Working with state, university, and municipal organizations, the Arizona Museum of Natural History (AzMNH) serves as the official repository for specimens collected from State, BLM, National Forest, and Fish and Wildlife areas across Arizona.

In the Dinosaur Hall, you may see the remains of several extinct animals, such as a Tarbosaurus skeleton, a Tyrannosaurus rex head, and a coelurosaur dubbed the “Zuni coelurosaur” for some reason. There’s also a Gastornis in the package. Both the Apatosaurus femur and the Camarasaurus bones confirm that these creatures are sauropods. Among their collection of iguanodont fossils, they have a single Probactrosaurus skeleton, along with singles of Zuniceratops, Protoceratops, Pentaceratops, and Triceratops.

The Anthropology Department at the Arizona Museum of Natural History investigates and develops exhibits about the region’s indigenous peoples and their culture. The museum has been dedicated to archaeology since its inception in 1977. 

The museum is funding ongoing excavations at the Mesa Grande Ruin, a large mound dating back to the Hohokam Classic Period. Educating the general public about the Hohokam and O’odham cultures is still the museum’s top priority.

Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Mesa, AZ
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