George W. Strake Hall of Malacology

Permanent Collection
Group Rates Corporations and Groups get discounted admission. Learn More
Book Your Party Give your child an unforgettable birthday party. Learn More
Become A Member Members get 10-20% Museum store, discounted admission + more. Learn More

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….


Related Events and Post
Currently, there's no related events.
Currently, there's no related blog post.
Currently, there's no related lectures.

Related MuseumStore Gifts

100% of the Museum Store proceeds benefit the Houston Museum of Natural Science's educational programming.

Please help us to preserve our collections for the next generation by not using flash when taking personal pictures at HMNS and at HMNS Sugar Land. Exposure to strong lights over time causes fading and deterioration of most artifacts and specimens.

Flash photography is ONLY allowed in the Grand Hall and the rainforest of the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Selfie sticks are not allowed anywhere in HMNS, HMNS Sugar Land and the George Observatory.

For press and any commercial photo shoots, please contact the Public Relations dept.

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


Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.



The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.