Visitors to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County can get an up-close look at the mysterious world of sharks in an exhibit on display through Jan. 5.
"Sharks! Fact and Fantasy" provides information on shark biology, evolution and conservation and dispels some of the many myths surrounding the often misunderstood creatures.
Visitors can walk through a simulated underwater shark habitat, learn about sharks through interactive displays and climb into a "shark cage."
Information about the exhibit is also available on the museum's World Wide Web site at http://www.lam.mus.ca.us/lacmnh/
For museum hours call (213) 744-DINO.
* In conjunction with the "Sharks!" exhibit at the Natural History Museum, vertebrate paleontologist and museum curator J.D. Stewart will discuss sharks' evolutionary success in "Prehistoric Predators: The Evolution of Sharks," from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum. Call (213) 744-3534.
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro will also be teaching children about sharks in "Sharks, Stingrays and Skates, Oh My!," a workshop for third- through fifth-graders from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Reservations are recommended; call (310) 548-7562, Ext. 7017.
ASTRONOMY AND SPACE SCIENCE
* Galileo Project scientist Torrence V. Johnson will discuss "The Galileo Mission: Uncovering the Mysteries of Jupiter and Its Moons" at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's von Karman Auditorium at 7 p.m. today. Call (818) 354-5011.
The possible origins of the Christmas star and astronomical foundations of some Christmas traditions will be explored in the Griffith Observatory's planetarium show, "The Christmas Star." For times call (213) 664-1191.
"Orion the Hunter" will be featured in the Santa Monica College astronomy show at 8 p.m. Friday and Dec. 20. Call (310) 452-9396.
SCIENCE FOR FAMILIES
* Children ages 5 and older can celebrate the first day of winter and discover why winter is our coldest season in workshops offered at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena at 2 and 3 p.m. Dec. 21. Call (818) 449-9143.
The Madrona Marsh offers guided nature walks the fourth Saturday and Sunday of every month. The next walks will be held Dec. 28 at 9 a.m. and Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. Call the Friends of Madrona Marsh, (310) 32MARSH.
Children ages 3 to 10 can learn about science and nature firsthand in classes at the Natural History Museum's "Adventures in Nature" series. Daylong courses range from "Pint-Size Paleo," for 3- and 4-year-olds on Dec. 31, to "Sea Scientists" for 8- to 10-year-olds on Jan. 2. Call (213) 744-3534.