Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121

Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123

Project Description On January 7, The California Academy of Sciences will officially embark on the most massive move ever undertaken by a museum, transporting millions of priceless treasures across the city of San Francisco into their new home in Golden Gate Park. More than 20 million scientific specimens collected over the past 150 years from around the world will make the monumental move, along with penguins, parrots, pythons, piranhas, and thousands of other live aquarium animals. These specimens and animals, which currently reside at the Academy's temporary facility in downtown San Francisco, will form the backbone of the new Academy's research, education, and exhibition programs when the new museum opens in Golden Gate Park in the Fall of 2008.  
Move Participants
  • Our Ambassadors to the natural world: 38,000 Steinhart Aquarium residents, including a 70+ year-old Australian lungfish, a 58 year-old alligator gar, a 150-pound giant sea bass, an albino alligator, electric eels, hundreds of leaf cutter ants, a colony of African penguins, over 1,500 colonies of coral, and thousands of colorful reef fish—including Nemo
  • Bugs galore: 14.5 million insects and arachnids, including more than 874,789 flies, some 524,666 true bugs, nearly 3 million beetles, and more than 700,000 butterflies and moths
  • Precious cargo and heavy metal: A 1,350 pound quartz cluster, jade boulders, a 465-pound amethyst-lined geode, precious gems, gold nuggets, and meteorites that are billions of years old
  • Cultural keepsakes: Pre-Columbian Inca clothing, 12th Century Persian ceramics, fragile feather leis, full-sized Native Alaskan kayaks, 500 Japanese folk toys, and a renowned collection of eating utensils
  • Famous finches: Thousands of Geospizine Finches (the group studied by Darwin) and nearly 100,000 other bird specimens, including the now-extinct Guadalupe Storm Petrel and 10,600 sets of bird nests and eggs
  • A critical collection of fish: Over two million fish specimens preserved in 200,000 jars of alcohol, including a rare coelacanth (thought to be extinct until discovered in the 1930s), as well as unicornfishes, flounders, lanternbellies, slickheads, fangtooths, cavefishes, ghost knifefishes, banjo catfishes, needlefishes, crocodile icefishes, and hundreds of other species
  • Hoppers, slitherers, and crawlers: More than a quarter of a million reptiles and amphibians from 166 countries, including the world's largest collection of reptiles from the Galápagos
  • A plant lover's paradise: Millions of pressed and dried plant specimens, including primitive seed plants, cone-bearing plants, a world-wide collection of flowering plants, mosses, lichens, liverworts, and a diverse collection of ferns and their relatives
  • A sea of spineless critters: 6-foot-long pile worms preserved in glass tubes, sea spiders, sea urchins, anemones, jellies, and microscopic diatoms
  • The last California grizzly bear: Plus 30,000 other mammal specimens, including study pelts, skulls, skeletons, frozen tissues, alcohol-preserved specimens, and the world's largest collection of marine mammal specimens

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The California Academy of Sciences is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Kimball Natural History Museum. The Academy is in the midst of an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is scheduled to open on September 27, 2008. (415) 379-8000.

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