Current Exhibitions

This November, get to know The Nat’s sparkly side. More than 100 stunning objects from our mineralogy department will be displayed on every level of the Museum in this "deconstructed," vertically aligned exhibition. 

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.

From dinosaurs to mastodons, travel through 75 million years and dig into the rich fossil history of Southern California and Baja California. The fossils on display were discovered locally by our paleontology team during construction projects. 

A celebratory look at wildlife, featuring stunning photography from the pages of National Geographic magazine.

Journey to some of the world’s most extraordinary locations and breathtaking landscapes in this new photography exhibition from National Geographic.

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.

Enjoy the breathtaking photography of Dr. Dan Cartamil, a shark expert and marine biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as he explores Baja California’s Pacific coast region. 

An Ice Age site excavated by Museum staff preserves 130,000-year-old mastodon bones, molars, and tusks that show evidence of modification by early humans, dramatically revising the timeline for when humans first reached the Americas.

Rare books, art, photographs, historical documents, and plant and animal specimens come together to prove you don’t need to be a scientist to participate in science. 

Take a journey through this amazing place we call home. Explore the the unique habitats of Southern California and celebrate the abundant variety of life found here.

All life depends on it, including ours. Learn how a changing climate affects our water supply and see live animals that depend on this vital resource. 

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.

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 .

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.

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 .

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 .

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 .