The Nat Blog

What is Community Science Today?

Posted: November 9, 2020

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. Read more.


Becoming a Herpetologist

Posted: November 3, 2020

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. Read more.


Specimens collected in Antarctica have allowed a team of scientists, including Dr. Ashley Poust of The Nat, to update the fossil record of giant birds. The 50 million-year-old fossils belong to an extinct group of ocean-going birds with large tooth-like spikes in their beaks. This discovery may be the oldest example of truly giant flying birds and adds to our understanding of the evolution of coastal ecosystems worldwide. Read more.


This is Fall in San Diego

Posted: October 3, 2020

We may not have stereotypical “sweater weather” or the newsworthy autumnal color displays of the Midwest, but fall still brings change to San Diego. We may not notice, but plants and animals do. Look beyond your weather app to notice the natural phenomena this season has to offer. Read more.


Learning About Wildfires

Posted: September 11, 2020

Wildfire is part of our ecology. What role does fire play in California's environment? How does wildlife react to fire? Can we adapt? We've quickly consolidated resources to help understand more about wildfire. Incluye recursos en español.  Read more.


Ten Great Hikes for Fall

Posted: September 2, 2020

This fall, scout out some new trails with help from the Canyoneers. Whether you’re looking for a seaside stroll, a nice hike on rolling hillsides, or a tough climb to a peak with a view, there’s a trail for you. Our Canyoneers recommend the top trails where you can stay cool, and stay distanced. Read more.


California Biodiversity Week 2020

Posted: August 31, 2020

Our state is something very special. Join us and our partners for a weeklong celebration of California Biodiversity Day, September 5 – 13, 2020. Read more.


A recent paper presents data about the first use of chickens for food in the state of California during the 1700s. At the San Diego Presidio, women may have been involved in small-scale husbandry of chickens to benefit their subsistence diet, as well as a possible source for barter or income. Zooarchaeologists used bones from our collection as points of comparison in their research. Read more.


An unusual fossil deposit containing skeletal remains of extinct mammals—including camels, oreodonts, rodents, and possibly a large carnivore—was recently unearthed by The Nat's Paleo Services team at a construction site for new U.S. Land Port of Entry in Otay Mesa. Read more.


South Korean paleontologist accesses 3D models of dinosaur fossils that were collected by Charles Sternberg and housed in The Nat’s collection, resulting in publication of two recent scientific papers. Read more.