Intro about Exhibits Store Links

See plants "exhale" oxygen in the Oxygen Bubbles exhibit.

What are the essential elements of life? How can you distinguish between the living and nonliving world? You can explore these questions and more at the Exploratorium’s collection of Life Science exhibits.

After more than three years of research and development, Traits of Life opened to the public in the fall of 2002. Featuring over 30 new and revitalized biology exhibits and demonstrations, the Traits collection examines the fundamental elements common to all living things.

On this site, you can find information ABOUT the collection, view a PHOTO GALLERY of the exhibits, sample EXHIBITS online, see the Traits POSTER "How Does a Muscle Work?" and meet the SCIENTIST who illustrated it, and explore LINKS to other sites where you can find more information about the nature and structure of the natural world.

Traits of Life is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.


Educator Resources

Life science activities that students can do before, during, and after their Exploratorium visit.

Microscope Imaging Station

Explore the living world invisible to the naked eye.
See tiny nematodes light up with sea jelly genes in the Glowing Worms exhibit.



Renovation of the Traits of Life exhibit labels in 2010 was supported through the generous support of the Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences.

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