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Recently Asked

“Dear museum scientists, while camping on Paradise Rd near the Santa Ynez River in August, I found what appears to be a tool of some sort in the dry river bed. I am hoping to hear if it deserves fur...”
Bret Klopfenstein, Ventura, CA - January 16, 2021

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“What kind of nest is this? Large, deep, rounded with a depth of about 2 feet. Made with branches, not sticks. Very close to the ground, with a "front door" Thank you!”
Carol, Valley Center California - January 10, 2021

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“Are you interested in gathering this for the butterfly exhibit?”
Bruce, Santa Barbara - January 5, 2021

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“I found this huge hornet looking thing outside our home in Santa Ynez. It's about an inch and a half, almost 2 inches. It's still alive and under glass right now. Can you tell me what it is and what t...”
Diana, Santa Ynez - November 21, 2020

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“I found this while digging in a creek bed on our property ( Cold Spring area) My question is, "what is it?"  Thank you for your time.”
David, Cold Spring area, Montecito - November 12, 2020

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“I am hoping you can help me with a TON of very strange insects that have shown up in our 50 gallon horse trough. In cleaning the bottom I scooped up about 50 of them along with the sludge. We have had...”
Cynthia, Santa Barbara County - November 9, 2020

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“Hi. I was wondering what kind of praying mantis this is and do you know if it’s a male or female? If it’s a female is she pregnant?  Thanks”
Candice, Yorba Linda Ca - October 29, 2020

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“Hello,To whom shall I direct my inquiry on the identification of the snake in my attached photo?The photo was taken by my cousin John on the shore of Lake Isabella in Kern Co. CA.Thank you for any hel...”
Gail - October 6, 2020

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“Can you identify the spider that makes these beautiful bubble/balloon webs? I have never seen such interesting webs in Santa Barbara/Goleta area, only back at a family cabin in the Los Padres NF. I a...”
Gail, Santa Barbara, CA - September 29, 2020

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“We found a dead cougar on a turnout on highway 101 at Gaviota on Sunday, 9-20-2020. I phoned the wildlife people at California's Fish and Wildlife Department, and they had it picked up. Fish and Wildl...”
Leo, Santa Barbara - September 22, 2020

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“I know that garnets come in several different colors but I'm not too sure about all of the different shapes these stones are found in. You can pick most of these up with a typical magnet. ”
Ken, Ventura - September 21, 2020

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“Please identify the attached pictures as I am uncertain of their names. Thanks, Lewis Rubin”
Lewis Rubin, Santa Barbara - September 19, 2020

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“Hello, A few months ago I came upon this very odd looking coastal rock formation that I initially mistook to be a rotted piece of old driftwood. But examining it closer, saw it is pure stone. Could i...”
Todd Cook, Wilmore, KY - September 16, 2020

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“Were building on the Mesa and dug up a sea shell fossil.  I'm wondering if you can tell me more aboiut it. I have attached an image but am happy to bring it over if you would like. Kind regards, Lyn...”
Lynn, the Mesa in Santa Barbara - August 31, 2020

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“Hello SB Natural History Museum, I think it's wonderful that you provide this ask-a-curator service, thank you.  My question: My daughter and I found a rock that looks a lot like the tip of a Chumas...”
Brent, Santa Barbara - August 29, 2020

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“Hi, I recently found this rock, which looks like a Chumash pestle or grinding stone, near a construction site at Hendry's beach. Do you think it is real? Is it something I should turn in to the museu...”
Melinda, Santa Barbara - August 28, 2020

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“Hello, I was wondering what the numbers taped to the floor by the observatory were used for. I assumed they were for stargazing. Thank you.”
Victor Ramos - August 13, 2020

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“Good afternoon. Would you be so kind to please help me identify the bone of the images attached to this question. My brother found it on a beach in the western part of my country, El Salvador, Central...”
Ana Luisa Roque Valdovinos, San Salvador, El Salvador, Central America - August 8, 2020

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“I found this skeleton in our backyard woods.  We frequently see skunks, racoons and opossums on our trail cam, but this looks smaller than a racoon or opossum and larger than a skunk.  The skull and j...”
Jeff Lawton, Santa Barbara, Mesa area - August 8, 2020

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“Is it known what the Chumash called the different species of whales active in the Santa Barbara Channel? I am particularily interested in what they called the blue whales.”
Douglas Hall, 709 Toro Canyon Rd., SB 93108 - August 6, 2020

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