Night Life at the Cal Academy

Night Life at the Cal Academy is a great chance for adults to enjoy what the Academy of Science has to offer, and best of all you don’t have to deal with the all the kids getting in your way. While you enjoy drinks you can walk around the entire facility attempting to learn something from the exhibits there. It does feel like a club scene but every now and then you’ll have people actually enjoying the exhibits and learning about the various wildlife they have on display. While I already know a good amount about evolution and certain wildlife species, it’s always amazing to see them up close and personal.

I think that is something that is lost on so many people who go to Night Life. I think it’s great that the Cal Academy hosts this event. It’s a great source of revenue and it opens up more people to the Cal Academy. There are tons of people who go to this event and I wonder how many of them realize how amazing it is to be able to see examples of evolution and adaptation right in front of them. In class we’ve been discussing evolution and Darwin.  We go through what Darwin discovered on the Galapagos Islands, gradual evolution, adaptation and natural selection. Walking around the Cal Academy you get to see how different species evolved or adapted to their environment in order to survive.

As I go through the exhibits and see all of these species that evolved to survive I wonder if other people really understand the scope of what they are seeing. Do they get the same feeling from seeing these animals as Darwin did when he first discovered the Galapagos? Probably not, but maybe we should all get that feeling of astonishment and amazement when we come across frogs shaped like rocks, bugs shaped like leaves or lizards that change the color of their skin to match their surroundings. Even as everyone was waiting in line to buy drink tickets there was a display that showed an early hominid Paranthropus Boisei Carnium. This shows how we evolved into what we are today, yet it’s so easy to miss this historic finding as we all wait in line for wine tasting tickets.

All this evidence of evolution is right in front of us and while some might take it for granted, I’m always amazed by the exhibits at the Cal Academy.  I might not get as excited as Darwin did, but I always enjoy seeing how so many species evolved and adapted to survive, and then later got caught and placed in a glass case for all of us to see.


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