Ever notice the spectacular tree outside the Museum’s north entrance? Of course you have! It’s the iconic Moreton Bay Fig tree, which—like most of the other large trees in the Prado area of Balboa Park—was planted in preparation for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Since it was a few years old when it was planted in 1914, its age should probably be computed from about 1910, making this majestic tree more than 100 years old today. While many people would like to attribute its planting to Kate Sessions, San Diego's pioneer horticulturist and street tree planter, there is no documentation to verify this claim.
Gray whales are one of the most interesting sights to see off the coast of San Diego each winter. From mid-December to April, these whales pass by San Diego as they migrate from the Bering and Chuckchi seas in the Arctic to the warmer lagoons on the Baja peninsula where they calve and breed. They typically leave the Arctic in the late fall as it begins to freeze over.
Words cannot describe the fever pitch of excitement barely contained within the walls of our Museum the past several months as we led up to opening our latest home-grown exhibition, Coast to Cactus in SouthernCalifornia. If the walls could move, they would definitely have been pulsing with the high energy imbued in this new show.
BBC Earth’s Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D transports the audience to Cretaceous Alaska 70 million years ago to meet dinosaurs as they’ve never seen them before. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, the film takes viewers on a journey through the seasons to experience a year in the life of dinosaurs fighting, feeding, migrating, playing, and hunting. This new 20-minute 3D film was inspired by the 2013 major motion picture Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie.
Journey to the royal tombs of Egypt and explore the fascinating world of the pharaohs as told through the mummies of the past. Narrated by actor Christopher Lee and featuring top researchers, this 3D film unlocks some of the mysteries enshrouding the ancient royal mummies—how they were embalmed and where they were hidden—and recreates the dramatic story of their recovery. The film coincides with the special exhibition The Discovery of King Tut and follows explorers and scientists as they piece together the archeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is produced by Giant Screen Films and Gravity Pictures, in association with The Franklin Institute and the Museum of Science, Boston.
Coast to Cactus in Southern California is an innovative permanent exhibition that will invite visitors to explore the unique habitats of southern California, from the coastal wetlands and urban canyons to the high mountains and the desert. Using specimens from the Museum’s scientific collections alongside immersive environments, hands-on interactives, live animals, and innovative media, Coast to Cactus will help visitors discover what it means to be a biodiversity hotspot: the story of why one region is home to so very many species, why these species are so critically threatened at this moment in history, and why it matters.
The discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 is considered the most famous discovery in the history of archaeology, and in modern times, the context of its discovery has been lost. The Discovery of King Tut allows visitors to experience a rush of excitement as they step into a moment only ever witnessed by Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon and a handful of others. Through stunning and scientifically produced replicas, the exhibition invites visitors to enjoy the magnificent splendor of these priceless Egyptian treasures.
SKULLS contains close to 200 skulls from theNAT’s research collections of animals from all over the world, from the tiny to the spectacular. Mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians are all on display, showcasing an eye-popping array of horns, beaks, bills, teeth, and more.
Through photos, maps, video, and hands-on activities, learn about current, local issues on land and in the ocean. Examine the infrastructure of the regional water system, and discover how we import the majority of our water and the costs associated with this practice. Water: A California Story also looks at effects of a changing climate on our region’s water supply and reveals how southern Californians can help protect water for future generations. Natural history specimens and live animals will serve as reminders that the natural environment and its inhabitants are also legitimate users of water resources.
From dinosaurs to mastodons, discover the rich fossil history of our region. In this major exhibition, created by the Museum, ponder a mystery, examine the strong fossil evidence from the Museum's collection, and use scientific tools to discover answers. Traveling through a 75-million-year timeline, from the age of dinosaurs to the Ice Ages, experience an unfolding of the prehistory of southern California and Baja California, Mexico.
theNAT is a shorthand for the San Diego Natural History Museum. It makes it easier to communicate who we are and gives us a fresh new look and feel. But this isn't a name change: we are still the San Diego Natural History Museum.
In fact, our wonderful members join the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Our generous donors support the San Diego Natural History Museum.
But, kids might go to theNAT for summer camp and you might host your company's holiday party ATtheNAT.
We call ourselves theNAT in our advertising, e-newsletters, and website to help people make the connection between this new shorthand and the organization that's been a part of this community for 138 years. theNAT is easier to say, read, and...
Whether you call us theNAT or the San Diego Natural History Museum, we hope you have a chance to visit us soon and see what we're all about.