At least once a week in the Naturalist Center someone, usually a small boy or the representative of a small boy, will ask “Do you have any dinosaurs in here?”

While we don’t have anything as big as the T-Rex in the Academy’s foyer, we do have several dinosaur-related or otherwise prehistorically interesting items.

We have a half-size model of a Velociraptor.

Half Size Velociraptor

Photo: S.Sumrall

Did you know that Velociraptor was about the size of a large dog or wolf?

We have  a horseshoe crab that’s the size of your head.

Horseshoe Crab

Photo: S. Sumrall

Although horseshoe crabs can be found scuttling around on beaches today,

members of their family existed as early as the Paleozoic era, 540-248 million years ago.

We have  a model of an Archaeopteryx fossil.


Photo: S. Sumrall

Archaeopteryx represents a physical (and chemical) link between dinosaurs and birds.

We’re crawling with trilobites.


Photo: S. Sumrall

Trilobites were arthropods that lived from 550 to about 250 million years ago.

Their heyday was about 500 million years ago, at the end of the Cambrian period.

And we have stacks and stacks of great books (as well as DVDs and VHS tapes).

Dinosaur Books

Photo: S. Sumrall

The call numbers QE760.8-899.2 are the Library of Congress call numbers for Paleozoology.  At the Naturalist Center, Academy Members and California teachers can check out five books for three weeks and two DVDs or other media for one week, with one renewal possible. You can search our catalog by call number, as well as by author, title, subject, and key word.

If you have a question or an unidentified natural history specimen or need some assistance finding an awesome science book to impress your friends with, we’d love to help.  You can contact us via email at

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