Extreme Adaptations

As humans, we are drawn to the extreme – the grotesque, exciting, adorable, implausible and incredible. Organisms on this earth are equipped with extreme adaptations, capable of achieving amazing feats, while inhabiting and surviving in the seemingly impossible.

The diversity of life encompass the unfathomably small and incredibly giant, along with everything in between. Size isn’t the only extreme: every organism on our planet is adapted to survive and exploit the world around it. There are extreme and fascinating examples from every branch on the tree of life. What are these extreme adaptations? How do they arise? How do we study them in extreme parts of the earth? At the museum, we will help satiate your extreme curiosity about the world around you.

Visit our What’s On Today page for today’s programing schedule.

Our new museum programming features:


  • Museum Tours: let us guide you through extreme organisms throughout our collections
  • Discovery Lab: learn about two extreme biodiversity researchers from UBC. How do they adapt to extreme environments to study extreme organisms? Become a scientist and try out their research techniques
  • Crafts: make your own useful tools for your scientist kit (current research tool: soft forceps or slope meter)
  • X-Games Activity: Can you jump further than a grasshopper? It’s harder than you think! Try out some extreme feats and learn about extreme organisms in our new activity
  • Extreme Trivia: blow your mind with extremely cool facts about interesting organisms
  • Puppet Show: meet the blue whale’s biggest fan and help her discover other extreme organisms that might be her new favourite. Starting February 15, join us for a new puppet show, highliting the extreme organisms of the past!
  • New scavenger hunts
  • And more!