Videos produced by theNAT

The Griffin Rises

This video shows San Diego Natural History Museum staff installing the griffin pediment that will serve as an impressive entrance into our new exhibition space, opening this summer in the renovated Research Library. Learn more about the project here:

A Deep Look at a Mammoth’s Skull

Join paleontologists from theNAT as they collaborate with technicians from the Naval Medical Center San Diego to get a look inside the skull structure of a Columbian mammoth using high tech CT scanners.

Sierra Cacachilas Expedition

Join our multi-disciplinary team of researchers as they head to the Sierra de las Cacachilas in Baja California Sur to study birds, plants, and insects.

Preparing Cacti Herbarium Sheets

Botanist Jeannie Gregory explains the process of cacti preparation for storage in an herbarium, and how that work delights the reptiles in the Museum’s live animal collection.

Artist William Stout discusses his work

Museum members and visitors may recognize William Stout as the painter who created the prehistoric murals in Fossil Mysteries at theNAT, but there is much more to this talented artist than meets the eye. From film design to comic books, LP covers to T-shirts, murals to theme park design, William Stout’s attentions and talents seem to know no limits. Learn more about this artist, how he got his start, and why he digs paleoart. Stout’s murals and paintings are on permanent display at zoos, museums, and attractions across the country. Learn more about his work in Fossil Mysteries at

Gray Whale Watching with Lena

Hop on board the Hornblower with Lena, our young whale watching enthusiast, to learn more about gray whales' migratory patterns and more. The San Diego Natural History Museum partners with Hornblower Cruises and Events to provide an unparalleled opportunity to experience whale watching off the San Diego coast. Join the Museum Whalers, museum-trained volunteer naturalists on one of these adventures:

The A.R. Valentien Collection

Hear Margaret “Margi” Dykens, director of the Research Library, talk about her background at the Museum and the significance of the A.R. Valentien collection. The Museum owns the entire collection of original paintings—all 1,094—depicting native plants of California, which were commissioned by Ellen Browning Scripps in 1908, painted between 1908 and 1918, and donated to the Museum in 1933. An exhibition featuring the original watercolors by A.R. Valentien will be included in a light- and climate-controlled gallery in the renovated Library come early summer 2016. This is the first time the paintings will be on permanent display in the Museum; approximately 10 will be featured at one time and they will be rotated seasonally. More about the Library project can be found online here:

Getting Skunked with Punk Skunk

In this video, Mammalogist Scott Tremor discusses traits of skunks and how they operate in an urban environment. Please feel free to share this fun and informative video with your friends and family on social media using #theNAT #PunkSkunk.

Trash Dining with Punk Skunk

In Part II of our Punk Skunk series, San Diego Natural History Museum Mammalogist Scott Tremor discusses how skunks forage for food in the urban environment, and our friend Punk Skunk shares his favorite foods to find when dumpster diving.

Cracking Eggs with Punk Skunk

In Part III of our Punk Skunk series, San Diego Natural History Museum Mammalogist Scott Tremor discusses a peculiar method skunks employ when feeding on the eggs of ground-nesting birds.

Mitch the Rattlesnake Extraordinaire

In this video, our Exhibits team shows how they administer medicine to a sick rattlesnake. Mitch is a permanent resident of theNAT and lives in Water: A California Story on Level 1 of the Museum. Learn more about reptiles and amphibians within our region by visiting our new web app, the Reptile and Amphibian Atlas of Peninsular California.

The Story of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index

Join a young girl on her journey of discovery as she learns how to use the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. Thanks to the research of Justin O. Schmidt, who subjected himself to hundreds of stings from 78 different species of insects, we know the relative pain of their stings and how to colorfully describe the effects. For more information on the insects of southern California and beyond, visit

Moreton Bay Fig Tree

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. Learn more about this fabulous Balboa Park icon on our website here:

Audubon Folio

Enjoy a virtual visit to the Research Library at the San Diego Natural History Museum and see the famous Audubon Folio of life-size bird paintings, including the magnificent Wild Turkey.

What to Do When You See a Rattlesnake in the Wild

Herpetology Collection Technician Laura Kabes provides practical advice for people who come across rattlesnakes in southern California and highlights how you can safely turn those encounters into valuable scientific observations.

Dermestid Beetles and Museum Collections

Many natural history museums use beetles to help prepare specimens for their collections. Check out this time-lapse of dermestid beetles preparing two bat skeletons for our Mammology Department, narrated by Curator of Entomology Dr. Michael Wall.

A Visit to the Nature to You Loan Library

Did you know theNAT has an entire library of specimens that can be checked out for use by artists, teachers, scholars, school groups, or anyone with an interest in natural science? Education Collection Manager Lauren Marino gives us a peek into the Loan Library and answers some frequently asked questions about the taxidermied specimens.

Caring for theNAT's Live Animals

Jim Melli, manager of theNAT’s live animal exhibit program, explains how his lifelong fascination with animals makes him perfectly suited to care for the animals we use in our exhibits and programs, and tells us why it is important to create animal encounters for our visitors.