Thursday, February 25, 2016

San Diego Natural History Museum, 2/11/2016

The San Diego Society of Natural History was established in 1875. Exhibits were first publicly displayed in 1912. The museum was located in three buildings in Balboa Park until the current building was dedicated in 1933. 

These two exhibits in the lobby provided a time-lapse view of global warming and second of tectonic plate movement from Pangea to current geography.  

The Museum's collection is dedicated to the natural history of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. We began our visit with the Fossil Mysteries exhibit, there are skeletal models of numerous extinct species including the mastodon and giant sloth shown below. 

These large dinosaur models showed the appearance of the animal on one side and skeletal fossils on the other. This one is an Albertosaurus, a smaller cousin to the T-Rex.

Ammonites are extinct ocean predators (related to the octopus) that thrived for 300 million years!

This large piece of jade began as ocean crust basalt. The chemistry of the basalt was transformed by heat and pressure from tectonic plate movement into the jade seen here. 

The Coast to Cactus in Southern California exhibit, showcases the diverse wildlife and plant life in this part of the country. 

We enjoyed the displays about the trees and how they support the wildlife of the region. Woodpeckers use tree trunks (called granaries) to store acorns year round. As shown, a single tree can have thousands of holes. 

Other displays show the mammals in the region (flying squirrel) and marine life (gray whale skeleton). 

Proceeding to the next floor, the Skull Exhibit featuring 200 of the museum's collection are displayed around the perimeter of the lobby. 

Perhaps it is our strange fascination with the macabre that made this so exhibit so interesting. Here are some of them. It was surprisingly simple to identify the animal by the skull. 

Water: A California Story is an exhibit that covers many aspects of the impact of water to the region including displays about the ocean, source of municipal water, and wildlife reliance on it.

The collection is dedicated to the natural history of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. This is such a well-curated museum. There are many interactive exhibits at this museum and a wealth of information presented in an innovative and interesting fashion. Loved it. Activities for children can be found throughout. 

Admission is $19/adults; $17/seniors. We had picked up a Macy's Musuem Month pass that provided 1/2 price admission to this museum (and many others) in February. For additional information about the museum, see

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