Dive into Spring Break at the Academy of Sciences

One of San Francisco's Most Exciting Destinations
Offers Spring Break programming from March 23 - April 10

SAN FRANCISCO (January 28, 2005) - If your Spring Break plans include a trip to San Francisco, there's no better place to put a spring in your step than the California Academy of Sciences, where you can watch playful penguins dip and dive, spot colorful clownfish as they dart in and out of anemones, and even join in on the splashing at the Touch Tidepool. The Academy has planned a wide array of programming to excite and inspire visitors between March 23 and April 10, 2005. Programs include daily penguin and Army ant feedings, opportunities to meet live reptiles and amphibians, and a number of other hands-on activities. Docent-led tours of the Academy's exhibits are also available, including ANTS and aquarium tours. Please see below for details. All programs are FREE with museum admission.

EVERY DAY
Penguin Feedings

During daily penguin feeding shows, visitors may watch and ask questions as one of the Academy's aquatic biologists dons a wet suit, measures the temperature of the air and water, and then steps into the pool to toss vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin to the penguins. Each feeding takes 20 minutes. Every day at 11 am and 3:30 pm.

For a high resolution version of this image or others, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

Army Ant Feedings
Known as the "Huns and Tartars of the insect world," Army ants are such voracious eaters that one colony can decimate an area of more than 1,800 square yards in a single day. Now you can watch these fascinating ants eat during a scheduled feeding every afternoon. Every day at 2:15 pm.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Venomous Fish

See preserved specimens of some of the world's most venomous fishes, and learn about their ecology and behavior. 1-3 pm.

Raptor Dinosaurs: Bird-like Predators of the Mesozoic
A lively presentation for all ages on Velociraptor and its close relatives. Examine fossil casts and mechanical models with Academy educators to see what these amazing Cretaceous killers were really like, inside and out. 11 am-1 pm.

FRIDAY, MARCH 25
Children's Story Time
Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for Story Time. This month's selections will be devoted to Women's History Month. 2 pm.

The Amazing (and tasty) Dungeness Crab
See real crab larvae, touch crab specimens, and explore the life cycle of the Dungeness crab. 12:30 pm.

Coral Reef Caretaking
Watch as an Academy biologist suits up in SCUBA gear and dives into the Academy's two-story Coral Reef tank to care for the reef's inhabitants. During this 20-minute dive, the biologist will clean the tank windows and feed the anemones and fish. 1:30 pm.

Scientific Illustration Demonstration
Meet a scientific illustrator and experience a live demonstration of drawings used for scientific publications and research. 3 pm.

For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26
Vanishing Vernal Pools
Meet a Tiger Salamander, and learn about the extraordinary survival of this species in California's vernal pool habitats. Handle live earthworms, learn to read the secret code of "wildflower rings," and find out why your help is needed to keep California's vernal pools from vanishing forever. 1 pm & 2:30 pm.

Children's Story Time
Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for Story Time. This month's selections will be devoted to Black History Month. 10:30 am.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27 (EASTER)
How do you Like your Eggs?

From hard-shelled to slimy, from green to speckled, eggs are a vital step in the life history of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish and even mammals. Discover the incredible diversity of animal eggs at the Academy. 1-3 pm.

For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

California Endangered Wildlife
Meet a live California desert tortoise, and learn what this animal and other endangered species in California need to help them survive in our changing world. 1 pm and 2:30 pm.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30
Bird Beak Buffet

Learn about adaptations for feeding in birds by studying and comparing various bird specimens with the help of Academy naturalists. 11 am and 1 pm.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1
Coral Reef Caretaking

Watch as an Academy biologist suits up in SCUBA gear and dives into the Academy's two-story Coral Reef tank to care for the reef's inhabitants. During this 20-minute dive, the biologist will clean the tank windows and feed the anemones and fish. 1:30 pm.

Wild Animal Mimics
Meet a live snake that pretends to be venomous, and see other examples of insects, birds and reptiles that try to fool other animals in order to survive. 1 pm & 2:30 pm.

Children's Story Time
Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for stories about reptiles and amphibians. 2 pm.

Scientific Illustration Demonstration
Meet a scientific illustrator and experience a live demonstration of drawings used for scientific publications and research. 3 pm.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2
Children's Story Time

Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for stories about reptiles and amphibians. 10:30 am.

What's That Ant In My Kitchen?
Learn how to collect & identify ant species, and then go collect ants in downtown San Francisco. Data sheets and ant collecting kits will be provided for all participating families. 1-3 pm.

TUESDAY, APRIL 5
Skull Detectives

Dissect owl pellets with Academy naturalists, learn how to use scientific keys to identify skulls, compare your bones with those of herbivores, and prepare your own specimens to take home. 1-3 pm.

For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

THURSDAY, APRIL 7
Tarantula!

Get up-close and personal with a live tarantula, and discover the fascinating secret life of these misunderstood arachnids. 1 pm & 2:30 pm.

What's That Ant In My Kitchen?
Learn how to collect & identify ant species, and then go collect ants in downtown San Francisco. Data sheets and ant collecting kits will be provided for all participating families. 1-3 pm.

FRIDAY, APRIL 8
Children's Story Time

Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for stories about reptiles and amphibians. 2 pm.

Scientific Illustration Demonstration
Meet a scientific illustrator and experience a live demonstration of drawings used for scientific publications and research. 3 pm.

The Academy's two-story Coral Reef tank. For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

Coral Reef Caretaking
Watch as an Academy biologist suits up in SCUBA gear and dives into the Academy's two-story Coral Reef tank to care for the reef's inhabitants. During this 20-minute dive, the biologist will clean the tank windows and feed the anemones and fish. 1:30 pm.

SATURDAY, APRIL 9 (THE ACADEMY CELEBRATES EARTH DAY)
Children's Story Time

Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for stories about reptiles and amphibians. 10:30 am.

Threatened and Endangered Species of the World
Over 15,000 species of plants and animals currently face extinction, including one third of all amphibians and one half of all freshwater turtles. Learn about how these animals become threatened, see and touch threatened and endangered specimens, and find out what you can do to protect species and habitats in your community. 1-3 pm.

Earth Day Festival
Hosted by Howard the Gi-ANT, the Academy's huggable mascot, the Earth Day festival at the California Academy of Sciences will feature a wide range of educational activities and presentations by a number of local environmental organizations. Academy scientists will share specimens they have collected across the globe, and birds of prey will fly through Academy halls. 10 am - 5 pm.


CURRENT EXHIBITS AT THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

African Penguin Colony - ongoing exhibit
Watch as The Academy's African penguins dip and dive in their new tank, which contains four times as much water and nearly twice as much land as their old home in Golden Gate Park. Enjoy feeding shows every day at 11:00 am and 3:30 pm. During the shows, visitors may watch and ask questions as one the Academy's aquatic biologists dons a wet suit, measures the temperature of the air and water, and then steps into the pool to toss vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin to the penguins. Each feeding takes 20 minutes. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

Touch Tidepool - ongoing exhibit
During your next trip to the aquarium, don't let the fish have all the fun - start splashing at the Touch Tidepool, where visitors can handle a few of the animals that live along the California coastline, including sea stars, turban snails, hermit crabs, and sea cucumbers. The tidepool is staffed daily with naturalists and trained nature lovers who can answer questions about the animals and their habitat. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

Coral Reef - ongoing exhibit
View a two-story, 20,000-gallon coral reef tank that features dozens of tropical reef fish as well as a wide variety of colorful corals. Children will especially love seeing the common clownfish (often called Nemo) and the blue tang (otherwise known as Dory). Wetsuit-clad divers enter the tank often to care for the corals and clean the tank walls. Academy biologists are using this enormous tank to test ideas for the even larger 225,000-gallon coral reef tank that will be a part of the New Academy when it opens in Golden Gate Park in 2008. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

SSsssnake Alley - ongoing exhibit
They're scaly, slinky, and slithery, and they line the walls of a winding passageway called SSsssnake Alley. View Steinhart Aquarium residents that formerly made their home in the Swamp in Golden Gate Park, including the anaconda, African rock python, ball python, pine snake, vine snakes, California kingsnake, ground boas, and emerald tree boas. Stop by and say hello to some of your favorite slithering snakes. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

Steinhart Aquarium - ongoing exhibit
View thousands of fishes, a captivating array of reptiles and amphibians, and the Academy's beloved penguin colony at Steinhart Aquarium every day. Visitors may view the animals in up-close displays that bring the back of the house to the front, allowing the public to see the equipment and technology required to keep an aquarium running. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

For a high resolution version of this image, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

ANTS: Hidden Worlds Revealed - through April 2005
Curated by Academy entomologist Brian Fisher, ANTS: Hidden Worlds Revealed showcases six colonies of live ants, each of which display distinctive nest building and food collecting behaviors. Four of the species represented - Harvester ants, Carpenter ants, Honeypot ants, and invasive Argentine ants - are commonly found in California. The other two species, however, come from farther afield. Leaf Cutter ants, which cultivate gardens of fungus in order to ensure a steady food supply, make their home in the tropical rainforests of South America, while meat-eating Army ants migrate through parts of Africa and the Americas in search of prey. Each of the six live ant colonies offers visitors the chance to look inside the chambers and tunnels of the ants' nests and watch them forage for food. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

Scientific Illustration - March 1 - August 31, 2005
Recent works by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators will be on display through August 31, 2005. The skills of the scientific illustrator must extend far beyond the ability to create an attractive drawing. In addition to mastering the standard repertoire of artists' techniques, successful scientific illustrators must be proficient in a host of techniques and methods unique to their field. View watercolor, graphite, and digital works by Northern California masters. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 321-8000.

 

 

The California Academy of Sciences, including Steinhart Aquarium and the Natural History Museum, is open to the public at 875 Howard Street. Admission to the Academy at 875 Howard Street is: $7 for adults, $4.50 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages 65+ and students with valid ID, $2 for children ages four to 11 and children ages three and younger will be admitted free of charge. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. www.calacademy.org (415) 321-8000.

The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. The Academy is beginning an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is expected to open in 2008.

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