Latest Posts

Dinosaurs were just the Tip of the Iceberg

We’ve all fantasized about living in a world where dinosaurs roam the Earth, a place like Jurassic Park, rife with the perils and excitement of living amongst these odd creatures. While it’s safer for us now, what a shame that birds are the only living descendants of the dinosaurs that walked on two legs and included the infamous T. rex. About 66 million years ago, T....Read more
Late Cretaceous scene. Depiction by Mary Parrish, Smithsonian.

Back to School with 'Reefs Unleashed'

How many species live below the surface of the ocean and how do scientists count them? With so many rocks, corals, and other crevices, there are a million places for creatures to hide! In our “Reefs Unleashed” school program, visiting students explore these questions as they consider the importance of measuring biodiversity in coral reefs....Read more
Tags: reef
Middle school students examine an Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure, or "reef hotel," during a "Reefs Unleashed" school program. Smithsonian photo.

Butterflies and Moths, Oh My!

One of the topics that fascinates visitors of all ages in the Margaret A. Cargill Collections Zone is butterflies. The butterflies are some of the most-viewed objects in Q?rius. Visitors love getting a close-up look at the pretty creatures, pointing out the diversity of colors, and even zooming in on the details using the microscopes....Read more
Tags: butterflies, moth
Colorful butterflies, including the giant blue morpho (bottom right), are on display in Case A in the Q?rius Loft. Smithsonian photo.

Choose Your Weapon: Shark or Vending Machine

You may have heard that more people die from vending machine accidents every year than from shark bites. My fourth grader knew that, and it's not hard to dig up statistics to confirm it. So, if we're going to make the world a safer place by eradicating vending machines or sharks, I'd choose vending machines....Read more
Tags: shark
Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) off the coast of Cuba. Photo by Alex Chernikh, via Wikimedia and EOL, CC-BY.