55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Naturalist Notebook 

September 6, 2011

Spotlight On…

Check out this week’s featured specimen!

(Pictured below, really close up!)

Photo: N. Sincero 2011

Can you guess what it is?

Here are some hints:

  • This animal has a gizzard.
  • This animal has a very sharp tail, which it can use to turn itself over.

Leave us a comment with your answer! Then come see us outside the Project Lab on Friday, September 9th at 11:30 AM for Specimen Spotlight in order to find out if you’re right.

Filed under: Spotlight On... — nature @ 7:17 am


  1. Sharp tail grouse

    Comment by Linda Lasky — September 6, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  2. The eye of a horseshoe crab! Though it’s really not a crab at all. Rather, they are members of the Arthropod subphylum Chelicerata, related to spiders and scorpions.

    “I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas…”

    T.S. Eliot

    Comment by Martin Holden — September 6, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  3. Horseshoe crab!

    Comment by Dave Gunderson — September 6, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  4. Horseshoe Crab! Is that the compound eye?

    Comment by Daniel — September 8, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  5. Yes, it is a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus to be more precise)! If you don’t know about them, take some time to look through this site: http://horseshoecrab.org/; they are truly fascinating creatures.
    The photo is indeed a close up of one of its compound eyes. It also has simple eyes and photovoltaic receptors on its tail.
    Horseshoe Crab
    We’ll have a new guess the specimen game up on Tuesday, but in the meantime won’t you tell us Who Pooped?

    Comment by nature — September 9, 2011 @ 11:23 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Academy Blogroll