museum people familiar with our balboa museums

We San Diegans are lucky enough to have two museums related to physical anthropology in Balboa Park: the Museum of Man and the Natural History Museum.

  • In the Museum of Man, “Race: Are we so different?” is a formerly traveling exhibit sponsored by the American Anthropological Association and the Science Museum of Minnesota. During its stay at the San Diego Museum of Man, the museum decided to buy the installation to make it a permanent exhibit!
  • In the San Diego Natural History Museum (the Nat), “Fossil Mysteries” covers prehistoric life, especially the Mesozoic (Age of Dinosaurs) and the Cenozoic (Age of Mammals). One section recreates a typical scene of prehistoric mammals, including early primates. Also, “Skulls” on the top floor has several cases of skulls from their collection, including one for primates.

“Race: Are we so different?” at the Museum of Man:


Write a reflection of your visit on this topic: What are three parts of the Race exhibit that showed you something especially memorable about the race concept? Describe the exhibits in detail as if you’re telling someone who has never seen it. The reflection should be over 400 words.


San Diego Natural History Museum do both of the following:

1. “Fossil Mysteries”: See the Eocene forest section of the exhibit, just past the dead dinosaur with the victorious mammals on it. Write a single short paragraph that answers the following questions: Which extinct early primates are depicted in the exhibit (hint: look among the trees and also in the individual displays)? Describe their appearance. Which modern primates do they resemble the most, and how are they similar? The response should be over 200 words.

2. “Skulls”: Find the case of primate skulls. There is a human skull in there. Write a single short paragraph that answers the following questions: What similarities do the human skull share with the other primate skulls. What differences do you see between the human skull and the other primate skulls? The response should be over 200 words. Get descriptive!

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