Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
sstone@calacademy.org
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128

Exhibits & Activities at the California Academy of Sciences
WINTER 2008-2009

EXHIBITS

African Hall – ongoing exhibit
Take a virtual safari through Africa by exploring the majestic dioramas of African Hall. Lions and cheetahs face off with zebras and antelope through the glass windows of their detailed displays, and a lowland gorilla invites you to ponder your ancestry. Look closely as you wander through the hall—these dioramas contain a few surprises: live tortoises, lizards, and fish have taken up residence in some of the smaller displays, and African penguins dip and dive in a 25,000-gallon tank at the end of the hall. Penguin feedings take place daily at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Altered State: Climate Change in California – ongoing exhibit
Walk beneath an 80-foot-long blue whale skeleton, gaze up at a towering T. rex, come face-to-face with a live rattlesnake, and marvel at dozens of other California treasures. Then track the potential impacts of climate change in California and around the world, and learn what you can do to help. Measure the impact of your family’s every-day decisions on a carbon scale, help polar bears move from one ice floe to another in an interactive Artic Ice projection room, and share your ideas for treading more lightly on the planet at the Academy’s feedback station. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

California Coast – ongoing exhibit
It never rains at the Academy’s California Coast, an exhibit that highlights the state’s diverse marine environments. Watch waves roll onto a sandy beach, peek inside a 100,000-gallon rocky coast tank, and play hide-and-seek with a giant Pacific octopus. You can even hold a hermit crab at the Discovery Tidepool and meet a 165-pound sea bass in the Tank of Giants. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Cool Globes – through January 7, 2009
Cool Globes is public art with a purpose – to increase awareness about global warming and to motivate people to take simple steps in their daily lives that will make a difference. This fantastic exhibit – 40 globes, each 5 feet in diameter – is in San Francisco for a limited time. Local artist Lauren Davies was selected to create an original globe inspired by Academy research, collections, and sustainability programs. Titled "The Butterfly and the Tsunami", Davies' globe resides in front of the Academy in Golden Gate Park. Admission is free and open to the public. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Islands of Evolution – ongoing exhibit
Visit the remote islands of Madagascar and The Galapagos through the eyes of Academy scientists, and discover why islands function as laboratories for evolution. Examine specimens collected during Academy research expeditions, including Galapagos tortoise shells and Darwin’s famous finches. Learn how scientists search for new species, and then put your new knowledge into practice, netting virtual butterflies with Wii gaming wands and setting pit-fall traps for virtual beetles. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Morrison Planetarium – ongoing exhibit
Leave Planet Earth behind as you fly to the farthest reaches of the Universe inside the world’s largest all-digital planetarium. A live presenter will take you on a guided tour of the solar system and beyond, using current data from NASA to produce the most accurate and interactive digital Universe ever created. During a visit to the international space station, you’ll gain a new perspective on your home—the only planet known to support life. "Fragile Planet" show plays hourly; show passes available on a first-come-first-served basis. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Philippine Coral Reef – ongoing exhibit
Dive into the world’s deepest living coral reef tank without donning a wetsuit. Five underwater windows offer a fish’s eye view into one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Find Nemo—and 2,000 other reef fish—darting through a technicolor forest of coral, watch garden eels emerge from their underwater burrows, and admire the brilliant hues of a giant clam. Up on the surface, follow a boardwalk through a mangrove lagoon, where sharks and rays cruise beneath your feet. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Rainforests of the World – ongoing exhibit
Step inside a living rainforest, where water dripping from the mahogany and palm trees sets the beat for a symphony of croaking frogs and chirping birds. Peer into one of Borneo’s bat caves, meet chameleons from Madagascar, and climb into the tree-tops of Costa Rica, where long lines of industrious leaf cutter ants march along vines and tropical butterflies flutter like colorful confetti. Finally, descend in a glass elevator into the Amazonian flooded forest—the land of anacondas, piranhas, and electric eels. An acrylic tunnel allows you to walk beneath the Amazonian river fish that swim overhead. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Science in Action – ongoing exhibit
Go beyond the headlines and gain in-depth information about recent scientific discoveries around the world. Live talks by Academy scientists, audio-visual displays, computer stations, and podcasts provide a reliable source of timely and relevant news about the natural world. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am- 5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

The Living Roof – ongoing exhibit
Stop and smell the wildflowers during a visit to the Academy’s living roof, a 2.5-acre expanse of native California plants. Part of the museum’s green building strategy, the roof provides superior insulation, prevents storm water runoff, reduces the urban heat island effect, and creates new habitat for native birds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. An engineering marvel, the seven hills of the living roof roll over the Academy’s major exhibits and echo the hilly topography of San Francisco. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

The Swamp – ongoing exhibit
Peer over the bronze railing of The Swamp tank if you dare—American alligators and alligator snapping turtles rule the water below. One of these reptiles, an albino gator with startling white skin, may steal the lion’s share of the attention, but it’s hard to ignore his neighbors for too long. Snakes, frogs, and salamanders live in smaller tanks nearby, and a biologist sometimes brings a Great horned owl into the exhibit to meet visitors. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Water Planet – ongoing exhibit
What does it take to live underwater? Find out in this innovative exhibit that includes more than 100 aquarium tanks filled with fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Once an hour, the lights go down inside the tanks, the room transforms into a 360-degree projection theater, and visitors are immersed in a five-minute video about the most precious resource on the planet: water. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

DROP-IN ACTIVITIES

Discovery Tidepool – ongoing activity
During your next trip to the aquarium, don’t let the fish have all the fun—start splashing at the Discovery Tidepool, where visitors can handle a few of the animals that live along the California coastline, including turban snails, hermit crabs, and sea stars. The tidepool is staffed by naturalists and trained nature lovers who can answer questions about the animals and their habitat. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am- 5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Early Explorers Cove – ongoing activity
Take your scientist-in-training to the Early Explorers Cove, a special exhibit designed for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. Tots can explore a 15-foot replica of the Academy’s 1905 research schooner, climb into a tree-house, tend a miniature organic garden, or crawl into a child-sized burrow. The exhibit is also well-stocked with books, toys, puzzles, and dress-up costumes. Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Naturalist Center – ongoing activity
Have a question about the natural world? The reference librarians and educators at the Naturalist Center can help you answer them. Bring in your leaves, feathers, rocks, shells, and other personal treasures for identification, look up the latest research on green technologies, or delve into “mystery boxes” full of specimens and self-guided activities. Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.