ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's most famous mummified monkey is now on display at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

The monkey sparked great interest when news of its discovery went public in April. There are different theories as to how the monkey ended up in an air duct of the former Dayton’s department store in downtown Minneapolis, but none have been confirmed.

“We don’t have a lot of information about this specimen, and that makes it difficult to tell a comprehensive story about it,” says Laurie Fink, vice president of Science at the Science Museum. “Our scientists are experts in caring for specimens like this one, though, and we are pleased to be able to care for it properly and provide some scientific and historical context for people who have been following its story.”

Dayton's monkey
The remains were discovered last month in the air ducts of what used to be the flagship store for the Dayton's department store chain, which was owned by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's family.

Based on its size, biologists believe that the specimen is a squirrel monkey that dates back to the 1960s, when the species was commonly sold in pet stores. The monkey was naturally mummified, meaning the warm, dry air moving through the department store’s ducts desiccated the body, drying, hardening, and preserving its flesh.

Visitors can find the monkey in the lobby near the entrance to the Science Museum’s Adult Computer Education Center. It will remain on display until Monday, September 3.

Former Dayton's department store in downtown Minneapolis. (Credit: KARE 11)
Former Dayton's department store in downtown Minneapolis. (Credit: KARE 11)