Magazine article Sunset

"Wild California" ... New at S.F.'S Academy of Sciences

Magazine article Sunset

"Wild California" ... New at S.F.'S Academy of Sciences

Article excerpt

From a microscopic view of teeming life in seawater to antelope racing across grasslands, a new exhibition in San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences shows the state's diverse wildlife.

Opened last month in Meyer Hall (formerly North American "Wild California: A State of Diversity" marks the first phase of a project to double the academy's space and create dozens of new exhibits. In about a year, a new link between the fish roundabout and the Hall of Man will house exhibits on evolution.

When the hall opened in 1916, it was one of the world's first with dioramas devoted to habitat groups of birds and mammals. For some 70 years, the stuffed creatures remained virtually untouched. Recently, when they were moved to allow for renovations, some of them literally fell apart.

What you'll see in the new area

The six all-new dioramas include some produced by state-of-the-art methods. You see living creatures in a drop of seawater magnified 200 times. Another shows a pile of seaweed 50 times life-size, where a 3-foot rove beetle, normally 3/4 inch long, moves in on a helpless beach hopper, and a football-size kelp fly rests on a tree-size stalk of feather boa kelp. …

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