San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum The Nat is a flagship institution in Balboa Park featuring the natural history and unique biodiversity of Southern California and Baja California.
(1722)

Our Mission: To interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment. The Nat has five floors of exhibitions, a giant-screen theater, and San Diego’s only Foucault pendulum. Through its permanent collect

Our Mission: To interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment. The Nat has five floors of exhibitions, a giant-screen theater, and San Diego’s only Foucault pendulum. Through its permanent collect

Operating as usual

Thinking cool thoughts for the week ahead. 😌 Our special photography exhibition, California Blooming, explores Californi...
07/16/2021

Thinking cool thoughts for the week ahead. 😌

Our special photography exhibition, California Blooming, explores California's gorgeous wildflowers and the threats they face. Visit sdnat.org/california-blooming for more information.

📸: Nita Winter and Rob Badger, Ocotillo (Fonquieria splendens) and Rare Desert Fog; “100 Year Bloom,” 2005 El Niño Event

Thinking cool thoughts for the week ahead. 😌

Our special photography exhibition, California Blooming, explores California's gorgeous wildflowers and the threats they face. Visit sdnat.org/california-blooming for more information.

📸: Nita Winter and Rob Badger, Ocotillo (Fonquieria splendens) and Rare Desert Fog; “100 Year Bloom,” 2005 El Niño Event

Pause the scroll for a science spotlight! 🐞 Coastal dunes are important habitat for all sorts of critters and can help p...
07/15/2021

Pause the scroll for a science spotlight! 🐞 Coastal dunes are important habitat for all sorts of critters and can help protect coastal communities from storm surge and increasingly more destructive "king tides." From land, coastal dunes have long been targets of coastal development. From the sea, dunes have to contend with climate change driven sea-level rise. In Baja California, this erosion is worsened by the large-scale collection of beach stones for landscaping.

As part of a wide-ranging project on the insects associated with coastal dunes in the peninsula of Baja California, Curator of Entomology Michael Wall and a team of Mexican colleagues are currently assessing the status of some of these foredune specialists. In particular, they are designing and testing a standardized survey to assess the status of Western Beach Tiger Beetle (Cicindela latesignata latesignata). In San Diego County, the species was once found in 14 different beaches. Now, it’s only found in four.

Pause the scroll for a science spotlight! 🐞 Coastal dunes are important habitat for all sorts of critters and can help protect coastal communities from storm surge and increasingly more destructive "king tides." From land, coastal dunes have long been targets of coastal development. From the sea, dunes have to contend with climate change driven sea-level rise. In Baja California, this erosion is worsened by the large-scale collection of beach stones for landscaping.

As part of a wide-ranging project on the insects associated with coastal dunes in the peninsula of Baja California, Curator of Entomology Michael Wall and a team of Mexican colleagues are currently assessing the status of some of these foredune specialists. In particular, they are designing and testing a standardized survey to assess the status of Western Beach Tiger Beetle (Cicindela latesignata latesignata). In San Diego County, the species was once found in 14 different beaches. Now, it’s only found in four.

07/12/2021
Blue Whale Sighting

The summer whale watching season kicked off with a bang on June 26 with Museum Whaler volunteer Pam Stahlak reporting sightings of 1,000 dolphins and a blue whale.

You can join Pam and the other Museum Whaler volunteers on future cruises with Hornblower Cruises & Events. www.sdnat.org/whale-watching

Strut into the weekend like a magnificent mastodon, everyone. ✨ That is all.
07/10/2021

Strut into the weekend like a magnificent mastodon, everyone. ✨ That is all.

Strut into the weekend like a magnificent mastodon, everyone. ✨ That is all.

Calling all nature lovers. We’re recruiting volunteers for a variety of roles both inside and outside the Museum: Docent...
07/08/2021

Calling all nature lovers. We’re recruiting volunteers for a variety of roles both inside and outside the Museum: Docents, on-the-floor NATuralists, Canyoneer trail guides, and Whalers. Training for accepted applicants will begin September/October 2021. Volunteers play a critical role in connecting people to the natural world. Learn more, and apply online today.
https://www.sdnhm.org/join-and-give/volunteer/

🥾 Trail of the Month: Scripps Coastal Reserve 🥾 This short, easy loop along the bluffs and through coastal sage scrub ha...
07/07/2021
Scripps Coastal Reserve

🥾 Trail of the Month: Scripps Coastal Reserve 🥾

This short, easy loop along the bluffs and through coastal sage scrub habitat will give you a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. You'll also have a first-hand look at the ongoing struggle between invasive and native species. Fill up your reusable water bottle and take it all in.

The Canyoneers Program is made possible with support from dedicated volunteers and proud partner Subaru of America, Inc.

This walk will give some stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean as you stroll along bluffs and through the coastal sage scrub habitat. Along the way, you’ll observe some of the struggles between native and invasive species.

BUCKLE UP, this #MothMonday is different. It’s a story about moths, bees, wasps, and a tiny world we’re often not privy ...
07/05/2021

BUCKLE UP, this #MothMonday is different. It’s a story about moths, bees, wasps, and a tiny world we’re often not privy to.

It starts with our Entomology team examining debris at the bottom of our Living Lab beehive which experienced a collapse in late 2020 (a new colony has since been installed). In inspecting the debris and frass, Entomology Collection Manager Pam Horsley expected to find some Varroa mites and wax moths, but she found something extra intriguing, starting with some cocoons. The cocoons mostly belonged to lesser wax moth larvae, which feed on the honey, pollen, and wax produced by honey bees.

But one cocoon was smaller than the rest. When Pam and LepNet Technician Josh Allen dissected it, inside was a small, black wasp! Most likely Habrobracon hebetor, a type of parasitic wasp of the family Braconidae. Female wasps sting and paralyze the larvae of wax moths, then lay eggs on their larvae. The wasp larvae feed, in the end leaving only a shell of a wax moth larva. The wasp larva emerges from this shell of a larva and forms a silk cocoon around itself in which it pupates to emerge as an adult to keep the cycle going.

Wild.

Celebrating today with nature's little fireworks. 🎇 The Nat is open Friday to Tuesday from 10 AM to 4 PM, closed Wednesd...
07/04/2021

Celebrating today with nature's little fireworks. 🎇

The Nat is open Friday to Tuesday from 10 AM to 4 PM, closed Wednesday and Thursday. Have a great, safe holiday and we hope to see you soon! sdnat.org/visit

📸: Perideridia parishii subsp. latifolia (Apiaceae) Southern Yampah, observed by local botanists and plant enthusiasts in the Cuyamaca Mountains. More at San Diego Natural History Museum Botany Department.

Celebrating today with nature's little fireworks. 🎇

The Nat is open Friday to Tuesday from 10 AM to 4 PM, closed Wednesday and Thursday. Have a great, safe holiday and we hope to see you soon! sdnat.org/visit

📸: Perideridia parishii subsp. latifolia (Apiaceae) Southern Yampah, observed by local botanists and plant enthusiasts in the Cuyamaca Mountains. More at San Diego Natural History Museum Botany Department.

Fifteen years ago this week, Fossil Mysteries opened! Today we're going to look at one of the smaller specimens on view:...
07/03/2021

Fifteen years ago this week, Fossil Mysteries opened! Today we're going to look at one of the smaller specimens on view: the large scallops in the Pliocene portion of the exhibition.

Lyropecten cerrosensis is an extinct species of lion’s paw scallop originally discovered on Cedros Island, Baja California, Mexico. Specimens have also been found in coastal San Diego County at Pacific Beach, Mission Hills, and Chula Vista. Our very own paleontologists found a treasure trove of shells of this species in a coarse-grained pebbly sandstone at a site in eastern Chula Vista in 1983.

Because this site contained juvenile and adult individuals, it provided a rare opportunity for paleontologists to study the maturation and development of an extinct species.

06/30/2021
Western Banded Gecko

Who else loves that little cat-like sway of its tail? 🐈 Behold the Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus) in Living Lab. Visit at sdnat.org/livinglab

Celebrating diversity for 75 million years!While we'll miss marching with our fellow Balboa Park organizations at San Di...
06/28/2021

Celebrating diversity for 75 million years!

While we'll miss marching with our fellow Balboa Park organizations at San Diego Pride this year, we're excited to see events taking place throughout July. Be sure to check it out. Cheers to our vibrant community and Happy Pride!

Celebrating diversity for 75 million years!

While we'll miss marching with our fellow Balboa Park organizations at San Diego Pride this year, we're excited to see events taking place throughout July. Be sure to check it out. Cheers to our vibrant community and Happy Pride!

06/25/2021
Live Lesson | Paleontology, Fossils, and T.rex

Join the Nat’s own Paleontology Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Poust for a roaring good time. Ashley shares what it’s like to be a Paleontologist, the latest T.rex news and exciting San Diego fossil finds

06/24/2021
Observation: Mexican Long-tongued Bat

For #PollinatorWeek, we're looking at another unsung pollinating hero. Bats fly from plant to plant to collect nectar, which often makes pollen stick to their furry bodies. That pollen is then transferred to the next plant and the next as the bat continues searching for food.

The photo featured here is the super cute face of the most commonly observed nectar-feeding bat species found in San Diego County: the Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana). In the video, you can see how long its tongue is and how well designed for lapping up nectar. The bat’s long, narrow rostrum (we're calling it "boop snoot") is designed to be put into tubular flowers while feeding on the nectar.

🎥 by John Mitchell
📸 by Drew Stokes, Wildlife Biologist and The Nat's Bat-Man

It's #PollinatorWeek and you've probably seen a lot of bees and butterflies, but we're going to look at another pair of ...
06/23/2021

It's #PollinatorWeek and you've probably seen a lot of bees and butterflies, but we're going to look at another pair of pollinators today.

Curator of Birds and Mammals Philip Unitt is out doing field work in Imperial Valley and took a break from the afternoon heat to share a bit about these two pollinator birds. Go through the images to learn more.

We're combining #MothMonday and the launch of #PollinatorWeek! Bees tend to get all of the attention when it comes to po...
06/21/2021

We're combining #MothMonday and the launch of #PollinatorWeek! Bees tend to get all of the attention when it comes to pollination, but under the cover of darkness moths are covertly visiting flowers too. A recent study out of England, found that moths are more important than previously thought in moving pollen amongst wildflowers. Next time you are on an evening stroll, shine a flashlight on some flowers, and see if you can find any of our scaly-winged friends.

More on this recent study: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0877

📸: By Mike Lewinski from Tres Piedras, NM, United States - Hawkmoth and datura, CC BY 2.0.

We're combining #MothMonday and the launch of #PollinatorWeek! Bees tend to get all of the attention when it comes to pollination, but under the cover of darkness moths are covertly visiting flowers too. A recent study out of England, found that moths are more important than previously thought in moving pollen amongst wildflowers. Next time you are on an evening stroll, shine a flashlight on some flowers, and see if you can find any of our scaly-winged friends.

More on this recent study: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0877

📸: By Mike Lewinski from Tres Piedras, NM, United States - Hawkmoth and datura, CC BY 2.0.

06/19/2021
Museum Alive (Trailer)

On July 2, find out what happens when prehistoric exhibits roar to life! Join the incomparable David Attenborough overnight at one natural history museum and witness dinosaurs, giant birds, and dolphin-like swimmers escape their cases and come alive on the giant screen.

The Subaru Giant Screen Experience is included with paid admission and free for members. Find out more at sdnat.org/giantscreentheater.

Museum Alive opens July 2. Special thanks to proud partner Subaru of America, Inc.

06/18/2021
Sea Lions (Trailer)

NEW FILM 📽️ In two weeks, you can dive into the world between a jagged cliff face and a roaring ocean to follow the life of a rare Australian Sea Lion pup—and meet the people that are trying to save her species.

And honestly, isn't she just the cutest? 🥰 Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker opens July 2. Find out more and plan your visit at sdnat.org/giantscreentheater.

The Subaru Giant Screen Experience is included with paid admission and free for members. Special thanks to proud partner Subaru of America, Inc..

We're encouraging everyone to stay cool this summer...and these are some pretty cool hikes. 🥾 Check the forecast, grab y...
06/17/2021
Ten Great Hikes for Summer

We're encouraging everyone to stay cool this summer...and these are some pretty cool hikes. 🥾 Check the forecast, grab your sun protection, and make sure that reusable water bottle is filled before you step onto our Canyoneers' 10 Great Trails for Summer. 🥰 Enjoy, and let us know which of these trails you love.

Serving San Diego with hiking expertise for 47 years, the San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers is made possible with support from dedicated volunteers and proud partners Subaru of America, Inc.

Summer sun can be lovely, but it’s sometimes a scorcher across San Diego County. Our Canyoneers recommend their coolest trails for this sunny season. Cool in both senses of the word.

06/17/2021
Nature & Me Storytime: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Anyone who has ever tucked in a little one knows that special routine... but what if all those youngsters were DINOSAURS?! Join us for this delightful reading-out-loud of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague.

It's National Megalodon Day! Our paleontology staff collected teeth from this giant species of shark from Miocene sandst...
06/15/2021

It's National Megalodon Day!

Our paleontology staff collected teeth from this giant species of shark from Miocene sandstones in Oceanside, California and near Ensenada, Baja California. Teeth inspired the model of the juvenile megalodon on view in Fossil Mysteries. Here are a pair of photos of its construction.

Got a favorite selfie spot in the museum? We'd love to see it. #TheNat We're open 10 AM - 4 PM, Friday through Tuesday, ...
06/12/2021

Got a favorite selfie spot in the museum? We'd love to see it. #TheNat

We're open 10 AM - 4 PM, Friday through Tuesday, and the weekend is upon us. You can plan your visit at sdnat.org/visit.

Got a favorite selfie spot in the museum? We'd love to see it. #TheNat

We're open 10 AM - 4 PM, Friday through Tuesday, and the weekend is upon us. You can plan your visit at sdnat.org/visit.

Some flowers are smaller than your fingernail! Here are a few photos from Curator of Botany Jon Rebman, featuring flower...
06/11/2021

Some flowers are smaller than your fingernail! Here are a few photos from Curator of Botany Jon Rebman, featuring flowers from a recent trip (and survey!) of the highest mountain range in Baja California: the Sierra de San Pedro Martir.

For more photos and botany updates, check out San Diego Natural History Museum Botany Department.

It's California Invasive Species Action Week. Organized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, here you'll f...
06/08/2021
California Invasive Species Action Week

It's California Invasive Species Action Week. Organized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, here you'll find some concrete actions you can take in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife manages California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.

A lesson for #MothMonday: don't judge a book (or a moth) by its cover. 🔥 When at rest, moths in the genus Catocala (like...
06/07/2021

A lesson for #MothMonday: don't judge a book (or a moth) by its cover. 🔥 When at rest, moths in the genus Catocala (like this Catocala violenta) don't seem like much to look at, but they can flash their vividly colored hindwings to spook potential predators when in danger. This is what gives the genus the nickname of "underwing" moths. Despite what their scientific name suggests, they're perfectly harmless. We just love their hidden fire.

Moving from frogs to h***y toads, our biologists have dived into the desert heat for an annual census of the Flat-tailed...
06/04/2021

Moving from frogs to h***y toads, our biologists have dived into the desert heat for an annual census of the Flat-tailed Horned Lizard!

Scientists and the horned lizards don’t like the extreme heat in the afternoons, so we survey from sunrise to noon. But lizards do like it hot! On average, we find them when the ground is about 92F, and as hot as 105F. During late spring to early summer, temperatures are consistently hot, so the lizards are consistently active. It's a good time to find them.

Our team of four field biologists see about five horned lizards a day. So far, after nine days in the field, they have marked 26 individuals and made an additional 19 recaptures. Today, the team finishes the tenth day in one survey plot. Next week they'll start over again in a different part of the desert.

Here's a cute face to help wind down the day. ❤Most mammals have their pupping (or breeding) season in the spring so the...
06/04/2021

Here's a cute face to help wind down the day. ❤

Most mammals have their pupping (or breeding) season in the spring so there's a chance you'll see little ones ambling about. Keep an eye out for those that generally live close to humans, like coyotes, foxes, or sea lions on the coast, and be sure to give them and their parents plenty—and we mean plenty—of space.

📸: Kevin Clark, Gray Fox kit (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

Here's a cute face to help wind down the day. ❤

Most mammals have their pupping (or breeding) season in the spring so there's a chance you'll see little ones ambling about. Keep an eye out for those that generally live close to humans, like coyotes, foxes, or sea lions on the coast, and be sure to give them and their parents plenty—and we mean plenty—of space.

📸: Kevin Clark, Gray Fox kit (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

Address

1788 El Prado
San Diego, CA
92101

Bus: The Museum is on the #7 bus line, which runs very frequently between downtown San Diego (along Broadway for most of the downtown portion of the route), east San Diego, and La Mesa (along University for most of eastern portion). Trolley: Take any trolley into downtown San Diego. Get off at the City College stop (Park Blvd. and C St.). Transfer to the outbound #7 bus just around the corner at 11th Ave. and C St.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(619) 232-3821

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Our Story

Our mission is to interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of Southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment. The Nat has four floors of exhibitions, a 3D theater, and San Diego’s only Foucault pendulum. Through its research collection, exhibitions, films, and programs, the Museum fosters in visitors of all ages a lifelong love of nature and the environment. Current Exhibitions: http://www.sdnat.org/currentexhibitions

Events Calendar: https://www.sdnat.org/calendar/ Hours and Admission: http://www.sdnat.org/visit/admission/ Theater Schedule: http://www.sdnat.org/giantscreentheater Membership: http://www.sdnat.org/membership Private Events: http://epubs.hawthornpublications.com/sandiegonaturalhistorymuseum/


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Australia's Lost Dinosaur Fossils and Russia's forgotten exploration of the continent. Welcome to Australia's National Dinosaur Day. Please give the you tube page a LIKE and maybe subscribe to get more videos like this.
What kind of nest is this?
Interested in learning more about the edible/medicinal/poisonous plants of Southern California (and neighboring territories)? Then look no further :) This live online session will be taking place on Wednesday, December 16 (6pm-830pm PST) and will be recorded and available to registered participants for viewing post-class. Hope you're able to join us! -Tellur Fenner https://www.facebook.com/events/1042748062786912
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We need help in identifying what is making this sound. We have been hearing this sound for the last few weeks. It never moves from it's location. This is in our garden (north county SD). To us it sounds like a frog. But all video clips of frog, toad or tree frog sounds....sound nothing like it. The sound is coming from the fence area. It stops if we round the BBQ (as if it can see us - lol). There is no movement nor any signs of what this could be. We have searched without success. Any help would be appreciated. We're just curious and do not wish to disturb. Thank you.
I have never seen anything like this before! It is nearly 2 inches long! Can anyone tell me what it is?
I paid for watching the bird talk tonight, but there is no button or any way for me to get into it! How can I watch the talk? Your website is very unorganized.
For our kids, for ourselves, for the next 10 years. Lets ensure our communities receive the funding they deserve. Respond to the 2020 Census by calling the San Diego Area Census Office at 619-695-5657 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Para nuestros niños, para nosotros, para los proximo diez años. Tenemos que asegurar que nuestras comunidades reciban los fundos que merecen. Responda a el Censo del 2020 llame a la Oficina del Census en San Diego al 619-695-5657. Se habla Español. Lunes a Viernes, 9am-5pm.
can someone help me ID this caterpillar. It is just over 2 inches long. Santee, today. Someone suggested it is a western tent moth caterpillar, but I looked for a tent web but couldn't find anything that looked like the images on the internet. Although the images of the tent moth caterpillar came closest to any of the other caterpillar images I could find, I wasn't 100 percent convinced. Thanks for any help.
When will the NHM open again for the public?
Otay Lakes..SD California I want to go fishing 🎣