Press Release

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

Spring Exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences
March - May 2011

EXHIBITS

New! Spring to Life – March 14 – April 24
Each spring, nature explodes with new life as the chill of winter recedes. During Spring to Life, the Academy celebrates renewal in many forms. Surrounded by larger than life blades of grass in the Piazza, an incubator and hatchery for live chicks will showcase the chicken’s life cycle. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will be immersed in the frenzy of sprouting, blossoming, hatching and emergence by which new life enters the world. Meanwhile, artist Michael Bartalos will embark on a month-long project, giving new life to used cardboard by creating unique animal sculptures from material supplied by visitors. Watch Bartalos at work, lend a hand in the evolving creation, and reflect on the role recycling plays in protecting forested ecosystems. The final installation will be unveiled as part of a three-day Earth Day celebration sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company, kicking off at NightLife on April 21. 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.
 
New! Snakes & Lizards: The Summer of Slither – opens May 9, 2011
From May 9 – September 5, the Academy will be hopping, crawling, climbing, and slithering with snakes and lizards from around the world. These scaled creatures have developed some amazing adaptations over the past 200 million years, including projectile tongues, deadly venom, remarkable camouflage, and surprising modes of locomotion. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will learn about the incredible traits that have made squamates (the group that includes both legged and legless lizards, including snakes) such a successful group, meeting dozens of live animals along the way that exemplify these adaptations. Lizards and Snakes: Alive! was created by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), in collaboration with Fernbank Museum of Natural History and the San Diego Museum of Natural History. 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.
 
New! Evolving Traditions: Southwest Native Pottery and Silver
Drawn from the Academy’s anthropology collections, this new exhibit highlights Native American pottery and silver jewelry created by members of the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes, and by the Rio Grande Pueblos. Pieces range from the dramatic black-on-black pottery of Maria and Julian Martinez to the wrought silver bracelets of Kenneth Begay and others. Pieces from the 1920s through modern day document that certain designs and patterns persist. As they are carried on by successive generations, they are also simultaneously modified as the tradition evolves. A video display shows potters and jewelers at work. 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
Upon arrival, please check the day’s show schedule; passes available on-site on a first-come-first-served basis. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 

  • Life: A Cosmic Story – Shows daily
    How did life on Earth begin? This tantalizing question forms the basis of Morrison Planetarium's newest show, narrated by two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster. Begin your journey by “shrinking” down to enter a single redwood leaf, and discover that all life on Earth shares a common ancestry. Then, travel through time to witness key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life. Along the way, you will see two scenarios for the dawn of life on early Earth, and discover how our planet has changed since those microscopic beginnings.

 
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, 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. Learn about Bay Area innovators whose ideas are helping create a more sustainable future, measure the impact of your family’s every-day decisions on a carbon scale, and share your own 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.
 
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. 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.
 
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.
 
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 the lair of a water monitor from Borneo, 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.
 
Sanctuary in the Sea: A Gulf of the Farallones Experience – Shows daily through April 3, 2011
Discover the beauty, diversity and history of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, an isolated haven for sea birds, seals, and white sharks, right off the coast of San Francisco. Through the eyes of Ron Elliot, an urchin diver turned videographer, audiences will witness this fragile ecosystem’s transformation from exploited hunting ground to protected sanctuary in this short film. 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 Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:00pm; Sun 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—an American alligator and alligator snapping turtles rule the water below. Snakes, frogs, and salamanders live in smaller tanks nearby, and visitors can learn more during the daily Swamp Talk presentation. 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. The exhibit also features a short video about the importance of water on the planet, narrated by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. 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.
 
What is Missing? – permanent art installation
Hear the calls of Malaysian gibbons, tree frogs, wolves, and more echo across the Academy’s east terrace, home to one of two permanent sculptures at the Academy by renowned artist Maya Lin. Entitled “What is Missing?,” the cone-shaped sculpture is the debut of Lin’s memorial to endangered and extinct animals and habitats, and features audio and video recordings of threatened animals in their native habitats. 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.
 
Where the Land Meets the Sea – permanent art installation
Like a line drawing in space, this sculpture by renowned artist Maya Lin depicts the topography between Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition to the land features Bay Area residents are used to seeing, the stainless steel sculpture seamlessly plunges below the water line, showing the terrain under the surface of San Francisco Bay, a perspective few ever get to see. Located on the Academy’s west terrace. 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.


DROP-IN ACTIVITIES

Discovery Tidepool – ongoing activity
During your next trip to the aquarium, don’t let the fish have all the fun—visit 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 activities
Take your scientist-in-training to a special exhibit designed especially for children five and under 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. Space is limited, and visitors will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. 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 activities
Examine the coconut husk trays found on our roof, and numerous specimens from the natural world, up close. Learn practical tips for making your house more eco-friendly. Inquire about the Academy’s ongoing citizen science programs. Read about the debates over what energy source can best meet the needs of Americans while preserving our environment. Stop by and see rotating displays of specimens, books and DVDs that complement Academy exhibits. 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.


CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES DESCRIPTIONS

25 words
Explore your world—from the depths of a Philippine coral reef to a Costa Rican rainforest canopy and beyond—all under one living roof.
 
50 words
Home to an aquarium, natural history museum, planetarium, and world-class research and education programs, all under one living roof. Exhibits include a four-story living rainforest, live coral reef, state-of-the-art space show, interactive activities and programs for all ages, exhibits on climate change and evolution, thousands of live animals, and more.
 
75 words
Home to an aquarium, natural history museum, planetarium, and world-class research and education programs, all under one living roof. Exhibits include a four-story living rainforest, live coral reef, state-of-the-art space show, interactive activities for all ages, exhibits on climate change and evolution, thousands of live animals, and more. Programs like penguin feedings and coral reef dives offered daily; drop into the Discovery Tidepool, Early Explorers Cove and the Naturalist Center to dive deeper.