Butterflies, Prehistoric Forest and Strange Science at Natural History Museum

Butterflies, Prehistoric Forest and Strange Science at Natural History Museum title=
Butterflies, Prehistoric Forest and Strange Science at Natural History Museum
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By Robert Bernstein

We took the bus to see the Butterflies Alive exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and we were treated to some other wonderful surprises as well! But hurry over to the Museum as these all end Labor Day Weekend. Here are all of my photos and videos.

We were fortunate to be at the Butterflies Alive pavilion on a sunny weekday in the early afternoon. This is when the butterflies are most active and the pavilion is least crowded.

When you enter the pavilion be sure to pick up a guide to the butterflies you will be seeing. There is also a large guide on display.

We saw all of the displayed butterflies. The flowers and other plants are a feast for the eyes as well! This Common Buckeye on a beautiful flower in a mist spray gave both treats:

As did this Zebra Longwing

Plenty of flying insects of all colors and sizes

When it is time to leave the pavilion, be sure to check all over that you don't have any on you. This butterfly was about to hitch a ride out on my wife's shoe!

We were told that the butterflies are brought in from a place in Florida. Since these are mostly not native to our area, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) strictly regulates the pavilion to be sure none of the butterflies get out into the wild here.

The pavilion is not allowed to have any plants that naturally host these butterflies and only the adults are allowed in the pavilion. Eggs are destroyed when they are found. This is also a kindness to the caterpillars that would otherwise hatch as there are no plants suitable for them to eat.

The pavilion offers a chance to see the adult butterflies close up in abundance. It is OK to let them land on you. Just please don't try to catch them. And remember not to let any hitch a ride out with you!

When we left that area we were drawn in by the Prehistoric Forest! A variety of animated dinosaurs greeted us there.

Here is the playlist of my videos there. Of course, the Tyrannosaurus rex was the coolest of them

But the others each have their unique aspects. The exhibit starts with dinosaur babies. These Triceratops babies munched plants as the parent stood nearby

The dinosaurs make various sounds. In at least one case the sounds are claimed to be based on actual physiology of the fossils that have been found. Notably, this Parasaurolophus which was said to make a trumpet like sound.

When it was time to leave, my wife bought a Freezer Monkey coconut frozen treat at the museum store. When we went outside this woman Linda Miller told us her connection: Her daughter Tiffany Buchanan makes these treats by hand in her shop in Ventura!

Linda Miller also told us that she curates the exhibits at the Maximus Gallery in the museum. She invited us to see the current "Strange Science" exhibit that is also nearly at an end.

We were very glad to have that tip and we went back in to enjoy this unique exhibit. This guy Albertus Seba created an amazing collection of detailed engravings of a wide variety of strange and wonderful living things. This was back in the 1700s.

You still have about a week to get to the Museum before these exhibits go away! Check it out!

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sbrobert Aug 27, 2019 11:25 AM
Butterflies, Prehistoric Forest and Strange Science at Natural History Museum

First, a small correction: "Tyrannosaurus Rex" should be "Tyrannosaurus rex" as species names are not capitalized.
EASTBEACH yes, that is the wonder of science. Scientists can deduce a lot. But it is sometimes a fine line between clever reconstruction and speculation.
NOSTRACHUMASH learning moment for me that California has a state dinosaur. I see that this designation happened two years ago. My guess is that this Prehistoric Forest exhibit is on tour to multiple cities in multiple states. So, it would be hard for them to have a state dinosaur for each place they go.

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