Natural History    

The Centennial Museum's collections and permanent exhibits highlight the Chihuahuan Desert, where UTEP and El Paso are located.

The Chihuahuan Desert is the second-largest in North America (after the Great Basin Desert that covers most of Nevada and parts of the surrounding states).  Its 140,000 square miles straddle the US-Mexico border, from southwestern Arizona and central New Mexico through West Texas and deep into Mexico.  The Chihuahuan Desert is on of the most biologically diverse deserts in the world.

  • Natural History Exhibits - permanent displays about the animals, geology and paleontology of the El Paso region and the Chihuahuan Desert 
  • Chihuahuan Desert* - an overview of the Chihuahuan Desert - the habitat, plants and animals
  • Animals* of the Chihuahuan Desert - from scorpions to coyotes, rattlesnakes to roadrunners
  • Plants* of the Chihuahuan Desert - search by sommon or scientific name for details and photos 
  • Landscapes* of the Chihuahuan Desert - its geology and ecosystems
  • Chihuahuan Desert Links* - extensive links to websites with detailed information on key elements of the Chihuahuan Desert 
  • Chihuahuan Desert Gardens* - presenting over 600 species of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert    
  • Laboratory for Environmental Biology* - a gateway to natural history information, and research at UTEP, related to the border region 

 * (opens new window)

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