Discovering Life Hall

The power of adaptation

What is life, and how do different species adapt over time? From single-cell organisms to the largest creatures on the planet, this exhibit hall explores and celebrates the diversity of life on earth.

Take an indoor nature walk at the Perot Museum — where everything from single-cell organisms to complete ecosystems can open your mind to the power and potential of living things.


Throughout this 3,400-square-foot exhibit hall, you’ll discover fossils, taxidermy specimens, 3D animations and interactive games that demonstrate how factors like genetics and environment are shaping the next generation of plants, animals — even bacteria! You’ll even have the chance to see genetics in action as you create your own virtual baby dragon and discover which genetic traits are randomly passed down. Other highlights include:

Origins and Adaptations

What is life, and how do different species adapt over time? Discover the facts and theories that put it all in perspective, through:

  • An interactive digital book of theories about the origins of life
  • Insights from scientists who are making exciting breakthroughs in cellular research
  • Fossils, illustrations and stories of life forms that have come and gone
  • Diverse adaptations that have enabled various life forms to thrive
  • A Biodiversity Alert map of newly discovered, extinct and threatened species
  • Our Adapter Reactor simulator, which shows how factors like pollution or climate change could lead to adaptation or extinction

Texas Ecosystems

Stop by our Naturalist Outpost, grab a field guide, and prepare to explore three diverse Texas ecosystems — the Piney Woodlands, Blackland Prairie, and West Texas Desert. Interactive dioramas include:
  • An “underground” crawl space revealing root systems and burrowing animals beneath the Piney Woodlands
  • Video clips explaining how controlled burns can be good for the Blackland Prairie
  • Magnifying lenses showing taxidermy specimens of Texas invertebrates
  • Common sights, sounds and smells of these ecosystems