The Nat Blog

All Are Welcome

Posted: February 25, 2019

Every year, we provide opportunities to more than 70,000 members of our community to experience The Nat through programs designed to offer low- to no-cost Museum access to all. Read more.

Whales are magnificent creatures, full of mystery and wonder… and one mystery that has puzzled scientists, including our very own Curator of Paleontology Dr. Tom Demèrè, for decades is how and when the evolution from teeth to baleen occurred in of the ancestors of today’s filter-feeding whales (e.g., blue, fin, humpback, right, and gray whales). Read more.

The Cockles of Your Heart

Posted: January 29, 2019

In February, the symbol of the heart is everywhere. The origin of the ubiquitous heart symbol, which can be traced back to earliest times in many different cultures, is cloaked in mystery and we will never be sure how it got started. Nor is it clear how that particular shape got linked to the human heart, an organ that is not especially “heart-symbol shaped.” Read more.

Rediscovering Lost Species

Posted: January 16, 2019

When plants or animals are so rare, we don’t even know if they need protection. So knowing they exist is the first step in conservation. Over the past couple of years, our researchers succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations at rediscovering lost species. Read more.

San Diego County has an embarrassment of riches, with more species of plants and animals than any other comparable area in the continental U.S. But we also have another claim to fame: this area is also extremely rich in gem and mineral deposits. Read more.

Halloween. Dia de los Muertos. National Deviled Egg Day. This time of year, it is hard not to think about the underworld and its ruler. In addition to having many names, the devil has a surprising number of species named after him. Read more.

We have been turning the pages in our rare books as frequently as every three months to protect the beautiful hand-colored images, and even then, we need to allow the books themselves to “rest.” This means removing them from public display and bringing out different objects, giving visitors the opportunity to see something new next time they visit. Read more.

Bearded millennials and hipsters, your day is here! International Beard Day is September 1 this year. Some folks <he writes while staring at his reflection in a laptop monitor> are not blessed with the thickest lumberjacky of beards. This can result in what some have called, beard envy. Laugh, but it is for real.  Read more.

Get Real in Unshelved

Posted: August 22, 2018

Once, while walking around the Museum, I saw a young boy about four years old looking at one of our exhibits of a marine mammal skeleton. Shortly after taking a gander at the specimen, he turned to his dad and asked, “Is that real, Daddy?” Young kids have a way of cutting to the chase, don’t they? Yes, they have a million questions about this new world that they are learning about, but “is it real?” is one of the first and foremost. And here’s the deal: at The Nat, we specialize in real. Real bones, real minerals, real butterflies, real birds, real bugs and snakes and spiders and everything in between.  Read more.

Considering San Diego’s status in the craft beer industry, people should not have a problem locating an establishment that will pour a celebratory frothy beverage on August 3, International Beer Day. In the grand tradition, crowds will convene at their favorite local tasting room, raise a pint, and enthusiastically declare the traditional International Beer Day toast, “Thank the gods for herbivorous insects!” Or at least that is how it should be. Read more.