Natural history can be understood as the “story of nature”. Moving across disciplines, natural history flows through science and art. It inspires poetry, photography, and literature. We experience it during a nature walk or when we examine stars in the night sky. As a field of research, it refers to the systematic study of organisms, including plants and animals in their environments, usually through observational methods in the sciences. As a practice, it emphasises focused awareness and receptivity to the natural world.
Below are a few links and videos that illuminate the world of natural history in various ways.
Natural History for Kids: Forest Nature Activities * Interactive Nature Games * Science for Kids of All Ages * Biodiversity Games and More * Children’s Natural History Museum
Natural History in BC: Pacific Wild * Comox Valley Museum Comox Valley, BC * Royal BC Museum Victoria, BC * Beaty Biodiversity Museum UBC, Vancouver BC * Museum of Natural History Vancouver Island University, BC
Life Cycle Transitions. See a Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly emerge from its pupa. This endangered species is drawn to the Garry Oak ecosystem on Hornby Island.
Observations. Enjoying the marine diversity of the Salish Sea.
Beauty. Icicles form on the face of Mount Geoffrey.
Biodiversity. Learn about the Island of the Sea Wolves, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
Animal Pleasures. A pod of orcas surprise onlookers as they rub against the pebbles at the shore of Discovery Beach, BC.
Prehistoric Creatures. Luis Chiappe, director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Dinosaur Institute, discusses Mosasaurs. Watch the neat animation of mosasaurs in action! The Hornby Island Natural History Centre has a mosasaur fossil that was found on the island.
Incredible Phenomenon. Murmurations: at dusk on a winter evening in southern England a flock of 200,000 European starlings congregate to soar in breathtaking formations before roosting for the night. “You can hear this roaring noise in the air, and then suddenly they’ll hail down like giant black hailstones.”
Differences. Can you tell the difference between a raven and a crow?
Wild Wonderment. National geographic footage of animals and nature.
To learn more about natural history, talk to your local librarian about ordering books on natural history or visit your local Natural History Centre!
Pictured above: Fireflies and Star Trails by Mike Ikewinski.