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.
(1808)

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. TheNAT has five floors of exhibitions, a 3D theater, and San Diego’s only Foucault pendulum. Through its permanent collection, special exhibitions, numerous educational programs, and the opportunity to see scientists at work, the Museum fosters in visitors of all ages a lifelong love of learning about nature and the environment. For current exhibitions: http://www.sdnat.org/currentexhibitions For hours and admission prices: http://www.sdnat.org/visit/admission/ For 3D theater schedule: http://www.sdnat.org/giantscreentheater For membership information: http://www.sdnat.org/membership Host a private event at the Museum: http://epubs.hawthornpublications.com/sandiegonaturalhistorymuseum/

Operating as usual

12/09/2020

Does Southern California have seasons? Yes, it does. The first official day of winter is December 21, so be on the look out these signs that winter has arrived in San Diego.

🌫 More about winter phenomena in Southern California: http://bit.ly/WinterInSoCal 🌫

Biodiversity hotspots are areas that are home to many species found nowhere else of the planet, yet threatened by habita...
12/08/2020
Talks and Lectures

Biodiversity hotspots are areas that are home to many species found nowhere else of the planet, yet threatened by habitat loss. But how does one find a new hotspot… under water?

Find out this Wednesday, December 9 at 6 PM during Nat Talk: Exploring Deep-sea Canyons with Dr. Nerida Wilson, marine molecular biologist at the Western Australian Museum. Register for this free talk soon.

Nat Talks are given by Museum scientists and outside experts from around the country who speak on a wide array of topics including the latest in scientific research, history, art, conservation, and the natural world. Lecture topics often coincide with the latest exhibitions at the Museum. Come enjoy...

12/04/2020
Lunchtime Pop-up: The Navy's War on Weeds

Presented by Dawn Lawson, Adjunct Faculty, Biology Department, SDSU and Christy Wolf, Conservation Program Manager, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment Fallbrook

Invasive species are among the most significant threats to native ecosystems and pose substantial challenges to conservation management. A common approach to weed management programs is Early Detection Rapid Response. Detachment Fallbrook has been slowly honing an EDRR program over the last decade and developing a weed management protocol to implement it. The Botany Department has provided valuable assistance to local land managers particularly in the identification of invasive species that have not fully naturalized when control is less costly and more feasible. We will highlight the management program on Detachment Fallbrook where Dr Rebman's early alerts have allowed managers to target species for eradication before they become fully naturalized. We will outline the elements of our protocol and present a case study where we are using an adaptive management approach to refine our weed management protocol and attempt to eradicate stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens).

12/03/2020
Nature & Me Storytime: Cozy

Today we curl up with Cozy, the softest musk ox in Alaska. Join our educator Ms. Rosie for a reading of Cozy, written and illustrated by Jan Brett.

Time for action. 🦋 Recent studies show the Western Monarch population, which overwinters here in southern California, ha...
12/02/2020
Three Ways to Help Monarchs this Fall and Winter

Time for action. 🦋 Recent studies show the Western Monarch population, which overwinters here in southern California, has decreased by 99% with less than 30,000 butterflies remaining.

Read on to find out how you can support monarch butterflies right now.

The monarch butterfly is in severe decline. Recent studies show the Western Monarch population, which overwinters here in southern California, has decreased by 99% with less than 30,000 butterflies remaining. With such critically low numbers, now is the time to take action. Read on to learn how to s...

Hoy miércoles, 2 de diciembre a las 18:00, tendremos una charla virtual. 🌿 Etnobotánica kumiai – el conocimiento sobre l...
12/02/2020

Hoy miércoles, 2 de diciembre a las 18:00, tendremos una charla virtual. 🌿 Etnobotánica kumiai – el conocimiento sobre las plantas nativas de un pueblo indígena de Baja California 🌿 Reserva su lugar antes de las 17:45: sdnat.org/talks

Today we have our next Spanish-language Nat Talk. RSVP for your virtual seat. sdnat.org/talks

December birthdays are triple the shiny. 💙💙 Those born in December have three birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zir...
12/01/2020

December birthdays are triple the shiny. 💙💙 Those born in December have three birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon. We're featuring turquoise and tanzanite here and in our Hidden Gems exhibition. Turquoise contains copper which is the source of its blue or greenish-blue color. Many minerals, such as variscite, naturally resemble turquoise, and other minerals can be dyed to imitate it. Tanzanite (a variety of the mineral zoisite) was discovered in 1967 in northern Tanzania, which remains the world’s only known source. Its velvety, purplish-blue color sets it apart from other gems. Zircon has a broad color palette that includes blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and brown.

Gemstones courtesy GIA Education.

Step into my parlor said the...plant to the fly? It goes something like that in this edition of #SidewalkBotany. We’re l...
11/30/2020

Step into my parlor said the...plant to the fly? It goes something like that in this edition of #SidewalkBotany. We’re looking at Common Catchfly (Silene gallica).

Part of the Pink family (Caryophyllaceae) which has a worldwide distribution, in San Diego County you can find this family represented with 19 genera and 42 species, although 22 of these species are non-native. Within that family, the genus Silene is the most diverse in our region. It’s here you’ll find the origin of the common name, as many members of this genus have sticky, glandular hairs on their upper stems and sepals or glandular patches on the stem internodes. Because small insects frequently get stuck in these glandular areas, they are often called catchflies.

The specific epithet of our Common Catchfly, gallica, means of or from France. This species is native to Europe, but has naturalized in the western and southeastern USA and in northwestern Baja California, Mexico. It’s an annual with opposite leaves and white to pink flowers.

For a couple of our native varieties, check the comments below.

11/27/2020
Bee Waggle Dance

Get up and shake it like a bee! 💃🐝🕺 Shaking their abdomen, the honey bees in our Living Lab exhibition do their famous (and adorable) waggle dance to communicate with hive mates, generally about where to find a good source of food. Other bees, however, may interrupt a dancer if they've experienced danger at flowers the dancer is indicating.

We could just gobble up this art all day.This image, painted by John James Audubon close to 200 years ago, is featured i...
11/26/2020

We could just gobble up this art all day.

This image, painted by John James Audubon close to 200 years ago, is featured in our very own Audubon Double Elephant Folio of the Birds of America. The Wild Turkey was much admired by Audubon, who wanted to portray all the American birds at life-size.

If you'd like to binge watch something tomorrow, we have at least 24 discussions, talks, and lectures for you on YouTube...
11/26/2020
SDNaturalHistory

If you'd like to binge watch something tomorrow, we have at least 24 discussions, talks, and lectures for you on YouTube, and then some more.

We're thankful for science, obviously.

The San Diego Natural History History Museum is the second oldest scientific institution in California and third oldest west of the Mississippi. The Nat seek...

Our annual report is live! See what we've accomplished with your support during FY 2019-2020. We think you'll find it......
11/25/2020
Annual Reports & Financials

Our annual report is live! See what we've accomplished with your support during FY 2019-2020.

We think you'll find it...ribbiting. 🐸

Our plans and our reports as a nonprofit. Learn about the San Diego Natural History Museum in Annual Reports and Financial Statements.

We're gonna say it: that's one good lookin' hunka moth. For #MothMonday, what more do you need than a striking black and...
11/23/2020

We're gonna say it: that's one good lookin' hunka moth. For #MothMonday, what more do you need than a striking black and white pattern, some bipectinate antennae, and a red-orange abdominal tip? Be on the lookout for these Nevada buckmoth (Hemileuca nevadensis) males who are on the hunt for female moths during the day (making them diurnal). Females are pretty neat and will lay their eggs in rings around twigs. The caterpillars, however, have branched spines that can sting you, so beware and avoid handling them. You might see the caterpillars feeding on willows (Salix sp.) and cottonwoods (Populus sp.). Be careful when gardening, they spin their cocoons loosely in leaf litter below host plants.

11/20/2020
Lunchtime Pop-up: The San Quintin kangaroo rat

The San Quintin kangaroo rat rediscovery and its future -- live now! Join Jorge Andrade, Ph.D. student at CICESE, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, as he provides .

The San Quintin kangaroo rat was first described by Laurence M. Huey (SDNHM) in 1925. At that time it occupied much of the coastal San Quintin plains south to El Rosario. In the 1980’s the advancement of agriculture began to dramatically alter the landscape making it uninhabitable for the species to persist. By the late 1990’s the species was thought to have gone extinct. In 2017 the species was captured in small numbers by Scott Tremor (SDNHM) and Sula Vanderplank while conducting routine trapping at the far eastern edge of San Quintin. This rediscovery brought renewed research to determine where an how this species lives in a highly fragmented landscape. Jorge is providing the follow-up research and action so critical to this animals future.

11/20/2020
Tide Pool Treasure Hunt

Low tide at Cabrillo National Monument reveals a hidden world of fascinating creatures—meet some of them during this live little field trip with Cabrillo National Monument!

Join Community Engagement Manager, Lauren Marino Perez and Cabrillo National Monument Biologist and Science Educator, Sam Wynns for a field trip to the rocky intertidal zone. Explore the diverse adaptations of tide pool life and learn how you can help science by uploading your nature photos to iNaturalist. Afterward, stick around for live discussion and Q & A.

This 30-minute program will be a Zoom webinar, streamed with live captioning on Facebook Live. If you want to receive a digital resource packet and/or submit questions before we meet, advanced Zoom registration is required. Recommended for grade 3 and up, but all are welcome.

11/19/2020
Nature & Me Storytime: The Hike

Join three friends through the trials and triumphs of the outdoors with The Hike, written and illustrated by Alison Farrell.

#WhatIsItWednesday: Do you know this mesmerizing plant? We'll share another view in the comments. ... Answer updated!......
11/18/2020

#WhatIsItWednesday: Do you know this mesmerizing plant? We'll share another view in the comments. ... Answer updated!
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Answer: If you guessed Heliotropium curassavicum var. Oculatum, you get some serious bonus points! It's also known as Salt Heliotrope, Seaside Heliotrope; Hierba del Sapo, María Luisa, Berro, Cola de Mico

This species is common and widespread in San Diego County. It is typically a perennial with prostrate or weakly ascending stems with glabrous, fleshy, green to blue-gray leaves. The white to bluish flowers are arranged in 2–4 terminal spikes that are strongly coiled when flowering. This species prefers wet to dry saline substrates like beaches and ditches and is widespread from the southwestern United States to tropical America. Pretty as it is, it can cause liver damage if ingested.

The genus Heliotropium is taken from the Greek helios meaning “sun” and trope which means “turning”; hence “sun-turning.” This name either refers to the incorrect idea that the flowers turned toward the sun, or could reference the summer solstice when the first described species were in flower.

And on today’s episode of This Will Kill Yo- uh, #SidewalkBotany, it’s the Castor Bean (Ricinus communis). Castor Bean i...
11/16/2020

And on today’s episode of This Will Kill Yo- uh, #SidewalkBotany, it’s the Castor Bean (Ricinus communis). Castor Bean is part of the Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae) which includes the Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis) and Cassava (Manihot esculenta). Many members of the family have toxic, milky white sap that can cause strong reactions in people with latex sensitivities.

The genus name Ricinus is Latin and comes from the fact that the seed of this plant closely resembles that of a Mediterranean sheep tick of the same name. This non-native shrub or small tree has naturalized in our region. It has large, peltate (shield-shaped) leaves that can be colorful and can cause contact dermatitis on some people. The name Castor Bean refers to the seed, (not a true bean as in the Fabaceae) and is the source of castor oil. The seeds contain between 40% and 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides, but beware! The seeds also contain ricin, a toxin present throughout the plant, and should be avoided at all times. It is one of the most toxic compounds known.

Many birds in our area are migratory and love to over-winter in San Diego.This is the unmistakable black and white strip...
11/14/2020

Many birds in our area are migratory and love to over-winter in San Diego.

This is the unmistakable black and white striped head of the White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). These sparrows flock together throughout San Diego, and their whistled songs brighten the increasingly shorter days and colder mornings.

Learn more things you can see during fall in our region: https://bit.ly/FallInSoCal

We join many local and national organizations that aim to democratize the study of nature. That begins with emphasizing ...
11/12/2020
What is Community Science Today?

We join many local and national organizations that aim to democratize the study of nature. That begins with emphasizing community and changing how we talk about taking part in science.

You can learn more in our latest blog post.

We join many local and national organizations that aim to democratize the study of nature. That begins with how we talk about taking part in science.

#MothMonday brings you the beautiful, iridescent scales on the wings of Battus philenor, also called the Pipevine Swallo...
11/10/2020

#MothMonday brings you the beautiful, iridescent scales on the wings of Battus philenor, also called the Pipevine Swallowtail and, yes, not a moth. The dark-colored males (right) possess a more noticeable blue sheen, but the brown females (left) have a muted iridescence as well. This species feeds on a huge array of flowers as adults, but tend to consume mostly Aristolochia (Pipevines) as caterpillars.

However, these beautiful colors aren't just for show: the consumption of their host plant's toxins as caterpillars makes them entirely inedible. The bright colors act as a warning that these swallowtails taste absolutely vile! For those curious to find one in person, this species can be spotted in most of the continental United States, with the exception of the Northwest.

Hey there, November! 💛💙 Those born in November are lucky enough to have two birthstones: citrine and topaz. Citrine is t...
11/07/2020

Hey there, November! 💛💙 Those born in November are lucky enough to have two birthstones: citrine and topaz. Citrine is the yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz, often described as golden. Most citrine is produced by heating amethyst. Brazil is its main source, but it’s also found in many African countries such as Zambia, Namibia, and Madagascar. Topaz is widely known for its yellow, blue, orange and brown hues, but it can also be found in pink, violet and, rarely, red. Blue topaz is actually irradiated to achieve its color.

Birthstones courtesy GIA Education.

A little reading to take you in to what's shaping up to be a rainy weekend. 🐸This is the first in a short series of blog...
11/06/2020
Becoming a Herpetologist

A little reading to take you in to what's shaping up to be a rainy weekend. 🐸

This is the first in a short series of blog posts focused on protecting the endangered California red-legged frog from extinction.

Herpetology Collections Manager Frank Santana shares how his childhood experiences in nature led to a career studying reptiles and amphibians. This is the first in a series of blog posts focused on protecting the endangered California red-legged frog from extinction.

11/06/2020
Nature & Me Storytime: The Busy Tree

The big tree may seem serene, but come a little closer and you’ll see it’s bustling from root to branch. Take a breath with your little one (or just listen along yourself) and join us for a reading of The Busy Tree, written by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Lisa Falkenstern.

For the love of nature, vote.Island fox at play, Santa Rosa Island.
11/03/2020

For the love of nature, vote.

Island fox at play, Santa Rosa Island.

In today’s edition of #SidewalkBotany, it’s a grass you have definitely seen growing out of cracks in the pavement. This...
11/02/2020

In today’s edition of #SidewalkBotany, it’s a grass you have definitely seen growing out of cracks in the pavement. This is Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon), from the hugely diverse grass family Poaceae – which includes corn, barley, rice, wheat, and bamboos.

Bermuda grass is native to Africa but has naturalized throughout San Diego County, frequently found in lawns and roadsides, also natural areas like canyon bottoms and edges of salt marshes. It's so globally prevalent that it is, in fact, considered to be a worldwide weed. The whole family can be difficult to identify because of very tiny, specialized flower parts that are clustered into wind-pollinated structures called spikelets. However, if you look very, very closely, you can see its teeny tiny purple blooms. In the close-up, you can see the anthers that produce pollen hanging down and the darker purple and fuzzy stigmas pointing upward.

Facebook botany nerds: We highly suggest you check out San Diego Natural History Museum Botany Department.

10/31/2020

We love a good spooky story to tell around the campfire. What’s your favorite?
🎃

It's that time of year where we haunt you...with neat bat facts! 🦇🦇🦇We've refreshed an old favorite post with Drew Stoke...
10/30/2020
Top 4 Myths about Bats

It's that time of year where we haunt you...with neat bat facts! 🦇🦇🦇

We've refreshed an old favorite post with Drew Stokes, our very own Batman and wildlife biologist with our Department of Birds and Mammals.

With Halloween quickly approaching, we thought it suitable to dispel some common myths about our winged friends, bats. Take a look at some facts and fiction shared by Drew Stokes (a.k.a. The Batman), wildlife biologist with the Department of Birds and Mammals at the San Diego Natural History Museum....

🦉 Calling all teachers! 🦉 We've launched a new resource for educators. From virtual field trips to individual lessons an...
10/29/2020
Distance Learning

🦉 Calling all teachers! 🦉

We've launched a new resource for educators. From virtual field trips to individual lessons and more, we're developing a comprehensive virtual learning experience. More is on the way.

Connect to nature and the Museum from anywhere. We are committed to providing free and engaging curriculum and programs for students, teachers, out-of-school-time organizations, and families.

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
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(619) 232-3821

Alerts

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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/


Comments

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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 🎣
Lower Otay lake San Diego California.
Red-legged frogs, made famous by Mark Twain's story about them in Calaveras Countyfor, were extinct in San Diego County for decades until a recent conservation team brought eggs and tadpoles from Baja California---a great bi-national success story!