Natural History, Museum

The Front Entrance
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The front entrance is just opposite the fountain on El Prado Street. It may appear up two flights of stairs, but there were ramps and elevators as well. The special event that week was a gem and mineral exhibit.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 14:11:03 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0370
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The Rear Entrance
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The rear entrance was just opposite the fig tree internal link. Instead of walking up as in front, at the back you walk down to the lower level.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 11:52:18 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0286
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The Gift Shop
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The gift shop was on the lower level. Notice the skeleton of a dinosaur that appeared to be waiting to gobble up the folks shopping at the gift shop.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 11:53:00 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0287
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The Dinosaur Cafe
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Also on the lower level was the Dinosaur Cafe. A good place to pause and rest between the various exhibits. Coffee, tea, and cold drinks were available.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 11:56:24 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0288
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Children Activity Center
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Also on the lower floor was an activity area for young children. Here were some examples for their art that were found remaining on the table.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:42:36 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0289
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The Gem And Mineral Exhibit
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Below the lower level was the basement. In the basement was a special exhibit of Gems And Minerals.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:42:57 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0291
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Carousel Replica
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This jeweled, enameled egg holds a miniature replica of the beloved carousel in Balboa Park. Each hand-carved animal depicts one of the actual 56 that revolve on the real carousel. The egg took 10 years to create -- and yes, it really plays music.

J. Grahl Designs, circa 2007
Diamond, ruby, gold, platinum, silver, mother-of-pearl, glass, stainless steel, wood.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:44:00 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0293
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Rare Minerals In Cases
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One part of the exhibit space was dedicated to the display of rare minerals of dramatic appearance.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:46:47 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0298
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Rare Minerals In Cases
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An amazing pyrite crystal external link from Spain. During the early years of the 20th century, pyrite was used as a mineral detector in radio receivers, and is still used by 'crystal radio' hobbyists.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:49:53 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0303
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A Case Of Tourmaline
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A case displayed examples of the various forms that Tourmaline external link could take. Tourmaline belongs to the trigonal crystal system and occurs as long, slender to thick prismatic and columnar crystals that are usually triangular in cross-section.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:50:41 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0305
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The Geologic Exhibits
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One area was given over to the display of geologic reproductions. They illustrated the many ways that minerals were formed.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:51:38 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0308
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Inside A Geode
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A display of the inside of a huge geode external link. Geodes can form in any cavity, but the term is usually reserved for more or less rounded formations in igneous and sedimentary rocks, while the more general term "vug" is applied to cavities in fissures and veins.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:51:56 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0310
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Gold On Display
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A display case showed examples of the kinds of gold external link that were found in California. Gold has been known and used by artisans since the Chalcolithic. Gold artifacts in the Balkans appear from the 4th millennium BCE.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:52:23 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0313
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Pearls From All Over The World
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Pearls external link were on display, collected from all over the world. The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but they are extremely rare. Cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters make up the majority of those that are currently sold.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:53:55 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0318
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The 3D Movie Theater
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The museum had a 3D imax-like movie theater that showed films about dinosaurs, the ocean, gems, and reefs.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 12:56:31 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0324
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Water A California Story
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Another exhibit was titled, "Water A California Story." It included the information about the rivers, estuarys, bays, and seashore, and the creatures and plants that depend on them.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:30:35 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0326
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Taxidermied Animals And A Whale Skull
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At the front of the exhibit area were cases with taxidermied animals. In the background was the skull of a whale.


Water A California Story   •  The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:30:40 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0327
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Interactive Terrarium
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One part of the exhibit featured an interactive terrarium. Note the taxidermied birds in the foreground.


Water A California Story   •  The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:31:29 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0330
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Pelicans In Glass Case
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Among other taxidermied birds were these two pelican in a class case.


Water A California Story   •  The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:36:18 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0340
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California Off-Shore Islands
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Just outside the "Water A California Story" room was a picture showing the depth of water surrounding the islands off the California shore.

To the left, the lower level of the main exhibit hall could be seen, with stairways leading to other levels.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:41:52 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0344
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The Second Level Looking Down
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The second level with its view across and down at the first level. Note the large shark suspended above.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:45:48 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0345
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Prehistoric California
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The exhibit of prehistoric animals that used to be found wandering the countryside of California. The wholly mammoth and giant sloth were two of the larger animals.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:46:19 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0347
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Interactive Tectonic Plates
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On the second level was an interactive display of the tectonic plates surrounding California. This exhibit also explained how plate movement and earthquakes could reveal fossil finds.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:48:36 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0353
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The Third Floor Was Art
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The third floor housed original art showing natural themes. Photography of the art was forbidden.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:48:43 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0345
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A Dramatic View
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Back down on the second floor, reproductions of dinosaurs were found. Behind those were the teeth of a huge shark.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:50:70 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0359
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Video Microscope
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One fossil exhibit included a microscope with a camera attached. By rotating the platform, different fossil samples could be examined.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 13:54:30 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0363
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Dinosaur Down Below
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Looking down from the second floor, the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex could be seen striding past tables.


The San Diego Natural History Museum external link external link   •  1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California   •  (Photo posted Friday 18 March 2011)   •  (Photo taken 14:08:18 Thursday 14 October 2010)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCY_0368
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