Researchers at the San Diego Natural History Museum, along with experts from Mexico and Brazil, have described a new species of large cave-dwelling spider, the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider (Califorctenus cacachilensis). Related to the notoriously venomous Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera), the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider was first discovered on a collaborative research expedition in 2013 into a small mountain range outside of La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Read more.
The enticement of desert wildflowers was definitely on my mind when I applied for my job at theNAT. To my delight we had the requisite rains this winter, and my first March in San Diego produced a “super bloom.” I invited myself along the Botany Department’s field trip to join the hordes of flower peepers heading to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Read more.
Our Rare Book Room holds many treasures, but not many of them challenge the very notion of what it means to be a “book.” The American Woods is a marvel of both book artistry and scientific dedication. Instead of bound pages, each of its 14 volumes holds hundreds of paper-thin, translucent samples of wood from American trees, painstakingly mounted into gilt-edged cutouts in individual cardboard plates. Read more.
When you think about going to visit a museum, chances are, you just do it without any additional thoughts. But for the young adults with autism with whom we are working, we needed to break down the museum visit to give some structure to the activity, as well as some structure for the forthcoming social story. Read more.
One of the San Diego Natural History Museum’s most notable strengths as a science museum has been adopting a culture that welcomes women, both now and from the very beginning. The Museum was founded as the San Diego Society of Natural History in 1874, at a time when most professional organizations were male-dominated and it was unusual to bring women into the fold. Despite this fact, the Society made a point of soliciting female members and became a stronger organization because of this early decision. Read more.
Finding dinosaur fossils is not something even veteran paleontologists experience every day. Our crews find fossils on about half of the job sites they work, but they simply don’t encounter many dinosaurs here in southern California. It’s not to say these beasts didn’t roam the area—surely they did—but the circumstances for the preservation of their remains were not ideal here. Read more.
Ever wonder why if nobody ever actually SAW a dragon, how people ever came to believe that they could actually exist? Take a journey back to the Middle Ages and get a glimpse into the school of thought adopted by most people during that time. Read more.
Our proud legacy dates back to 1874, when our founders incorporated our organization as the San Diego Society of Natural History. For many years, the group met in various locations, including the Hotel Cecil downtown, and it was not until 100 years ago that we first took up residence in Balboa Park. Read more.
Biologists around the world celebrate Darwin as the co-originator of the fundamental pillar of modern biology. Museums, as storehouses of the diversity of life on Earth, are particularly indebted to Darwin's observant and iconoclastic mind. I heard that within our collection of roughly one million entomology specimens, we have an insect that was collected by Darwin himself. Read more.
Dr. Jon Rebman, Museum curator and the Mary & Dallas Clark Endowed Chair of Botany, recently spent 10 months in La Paz, Baja California Sur (BCS) as part of a work assignment. He lived and worked there from August 2015 to June 2016. While in La Paz, he increased binational collaboration with Mexican scientists and students, conducted extensive botanical research in the southern part of the Baja California peninsula, and wrote a new bilingual, plant field guide for the Cape region of BCS. Read more.