The California Academy of Sciences is among the largest museums of natural history in the world. The academy began in 1853 as a learned society and still carries out a large amount of original research, with exhibits and education becoming significant endeavors of the museum during the 20th century.
Completely rebuilt in 2008, the building totals 400,000 square feet and is among the newest natural history museums in the United States. The primary building in Golden Gate Park reopened on September 27, 2008.
Prior to being replaced, the old academy building attracted approximately half a million visitors each year. As has been the case from the start, the main thrust of the exhibits is natural history. As such, the public areas of the academy are divided into three general areas.
The academy conducts research in numerous fields, largely, but not exclusively, in anthropology, marine biology, botany, entomology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy, and ornithology, all branches of biology.
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