Exhibitions

The Backyard

Temporarily Closed

Learn and explore the natural world through play. This new space invites our youngest visitors to play under a shade tree, search for hidden secrets along a wooden fence, or read their favorite book in a cozy potting shed.

Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage

Always on view

The Nat has many fascinating specimens in storage that have never been on display—until now. Don’t miss this rare “backstage” glimpse of the Museum’s storage areas.

Skulls

Always on view

Take a look at 200 of the weirdest, wildest, and most fascinating animal skulls from our research collection. Mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians are on display, showcasing an eye-popping array of horns, beaks, bills, teeth, and more.

Escape The Nat

Temporarily Closed

The world is threatened by a deadly viral outbreak. Diplomacy has failed, and now, the only thing that can save us… is science! Do you and your friends have what it takes to comb through clue-filled museum archives, solve puzzles, and save the world? Join us at Escape The Nat for…Botanic Panic! More .

Megalodon

Always on view

This replica of an extinct megalodon shark was modeled from and inspired by teeth collected from Miocene sandstones in Oceanside, California and near Ensenada, Baja California by Museum paleontology staff. It hangs in the Atrium as part of Fossil Mysteries and is one of best selfie spots in the Museum. More .

Allosaurus

Always on view

Meet Al, a member of our skeleton crew. Allosaurus fragilis, a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the late Jurassic Period, is a relative of T. rex, which lived later. Al’s bones are casts made from original fossil bones collected in Utah.

Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Always on view

While not officially affiliated with The Nat, many people associate this remarkable Moreton Bay Fig Tree with the Museum. Planted in preparation for the 1915 exposition, this tree is a beloved San Diego icon and one of the largest Moreton Bay Fig trees in the state. More .

Foucault Pendulum

Always on view

When visitors enter the Museum off the Prado walkway, they are greeted by the mesmerizing sight of the iconic Foucault Pendulum, which provides visual proof of the Earth's rotation. More .