Latest Posts

Discovering Weird, Wonderful New Species in the Open Ocean

When we think about the ocean, we may visualize sea turtles swimming around coral reefs, sea urchins anchored in tidepools, dolphins breaching the surface, or even shrimp gathered around deepwater sulfur vents. But most of the ocean is just open water, miles and miles of it from below the surface to thousands of feet down. This ocean midwater is the largest habitat on Earth! ...Read more
The red paper lantern jellyfish, a strikingly beautiful animal in the web of midwater ocean life. Photo by Karen Osborn, Smithsonian Institution.

February Events in Q?rius: Sand Creatures, 'OrKID' Festival, Invasive Species, and More

Did you know that thousands of microscopic species live between sand grains on beaches around the world? Or that elephants, lions, and camels used to live in North America? Or how you can help combat invasive species? Come to Q?rius this month and see the tiny sand dwellers through a microscope, contemplate returning some large mammals to our continent, and learn more about invasive species....Read more
Tags: ocean
The 'OrKID' Family Festival on Feb. 21 will feature some activities in Q?rius and other places in the Museum. Photo by Ian Chalmers.

The Tales that Plants Can Tell

They are silent and stationary, but scientists look to them to tell stories about what happened in the past. Because plants are all around us, and specific in their needs, they are great indicators of ecosystem change. Just as an animal might move to a different place if conditions get rough, plants must adapt. Unfortunately, habitat changes are happening more rapidly than in the past and plants cannot adapt as quickly....Read more
Tags: collections
Ash-grey Indian paintbrush plant in Southern California. Image by Gary A. Monroe, EOL via CalPhotos, CC-BY-NC.

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