The Nat Blog

Even though we’re all staying close to home, it’s important to remember that nature is a part of our everyday life—from spiders on bathroom walls, to sparrows living on tile roofs. Wildlife is much closer than you think.  Read more.

Natural Selection in Action

Posted: April 20, 2020

In the past 80 years, the plumage of the Horned Lark has undergone a relatively rapid color change, which scientists believe is due to the conversion of Imperial Valley desert into farmland, which has caused the landscape to change from light to dark. This could represent the first example known among birds evolving different colors within recorded history. Read more.

Working at The Nat, it’s not uncommon to be asked: “Where are all the bumblebees?” Good question. Want to help us find them? Read more.

Nature isn’t something found only on trails and in reserves and we need your help documenting it. That includes taking photos of lizard love...wait, what? Read more.

Return of the Frogs

Posted: April 9, 2020

President and CEO Judy Gradwohl shares a first-person account of a recent milestone for conservation: I had arrived early at the release site in case the egg transport went faster than anyone anticipated. This quiet overcast day marked the culmination of many years of hard work to return California red-legged frogs to their historic range in Southern California, where they have been absent for about 20 years. Read more.

April is Citizen Science Month

Posted: April 8, 2020

Looking for something to do from home that still connects you to nature? We got you covered. This April marks the first Global Citizen Science month, and as luck would have it, it is also the first digital Global Citizen Science month. Read more.

A new way to use collections? Using material from specimens within the Museum's botany collection, researchers may be on the path to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease - and maybe more. Read more.

Helping Save the Ringtail

Posted: March 6, 2020

We don’t know much about our native ringtail cats, but we can say two things for certain: they are not actually cats (they are in the raccoon family), and they love strawberry jam. The Nat is working with the San Diego Zoo to study these elusive creatures and understand why they keep ending up as roadkill in our foothill areas. Read more.

Some bird species museum scientists have been studying are spreading in a more southerly or downslope direction over time, which is contrary to the expectations of climate warming. Why is this happening? They attribute these shifts to three main factors, all directly resulting from human influence. Read more.

A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered in China, and described by American and Chinese authors in the journal, The Anatomical Record. The fossil preserves feathers and bones that provide new information about how dinosaurs grew and how they differed from birds. Read more.