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George W. Strake Hall of Malacology

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The George W. Strake Hall of Malacology is freshly renovated with over 1,300 shell and marine life specimens and a focus on ocean conservation.

Malacology is the study of mollusks — invertebrate creatures with soft, unsegmented bodies, many of which house themselves in shells. This fascinating and highly diverse group of animals includes more than 100,000 species, ranging in size from snails so small that we can barely see them to giant squids more than 60 feet long.

Shells are undeniably beautiful with cascading colors, various textures and complex patterns, but as HMNS malacology curator Tina Petway reminds us, “This is not just about pretty shells. This is about human’s reliance on the ocean’s resources.” The hall focuses on the habitats of mollusks and their places within the ocean’s ecosystem. Mollusks are a very important part of the marine environment. In fact, without mollusks, life might cease to exist. They serve as a food source for 80% of the world, and fishes’ predation of them is one of the primary bases of ocean life. The exhibit highlights this with a dive into the food and cultural uses of shells.

Curator: Tina Petway

Tina Petway, a native Houstonian became the Associate Curator of Malacology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 2005. The HMNS Malacology collection has grown over the past few years and is now the largest of the Museum’s Collections. HMNS is the home of the extensive and irreplaceable collection known as….

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Explore Shell Science!

George W. Strake Hall of Malacology

Located Here
HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629

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The Houston Museum of Natural Science is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.