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Recently, while prepping some skeletons for the Archaeology’s reference collection, I came across a nearly intact skeleton of a hummingbird. As I examined this hummingbird skeleton, I wanted to compare it to another bird skeleton.
Students from Franklin County High School participated in a hands-on activity to learn about Virginia mammals.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the April 2015 Microphoto of the Month.
Local wildlife makes an appearance on the banks of Lake Lanier.
Bessbugs(=patent-leather beetles; family Passalidae) are a small, mostly tropical, group
of unusual beetles most closely related to scarabs and stag beetles.
Dr. Elizabeth Moore recently gave a presentation, Plants and People, to students in the Roanoke College Honors Program.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the March 2015 Microphoto of the Month.
Ideas abound in the current and future generation of researchers in petrology.
Dr. Elizabeth Moore, VMNH Curator of Archaeology recently hosted Dr. Bernard Means and some of the students of the Virtual Archaeology Scanning Team from VCU at VMNH.
Dr. Elizabeth Moore assists in the archaeological survey at a Native American village site in the Martinsville/Henry County area.
Local high-school students were recently treated to a remote presentation by world-class researcher Dr. William J. McShea of the Conservation Ecology Center in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute of the National Zoological Park.
Dr. Moncrief provides some insights into why your dogs and cats sleep so much.
Stone tools from the Rudacil site are being washed and inventoried in the archaeology lab. This site is part of the Paleoindian Period Flint Run Archaeological Complex and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the February 2015 Microphoto of the Month.
Dr. Moncrief recently welcomed local high school students and VMNH staff to the mammal collection for specimen-based programs and activities.
In late January, Ray Vodden and I went to a farm to retrieve a dead cow. That’s right… a dead cow. Not just any dead cow, but one that had died a month prior.
Here are some amazing facts about the most famous hibernator of them all.
Megacopta cribraria (a.k.a. the Kudzu Bug; Fig. 1), a relative of the familiar, and more widespread, brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha haly) is a relatively recent addition to the North American hemipteran (a group that includes stink bugs, aphids, planthoppers, and cicadas) fauna.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the January 2015 Microphoto of the Month.
Hibernation is a kind of sleep that allows animals to live for months without eating or drinking. We often associate hibernation with mammals such as groundhogs and bears, but other animals are hibernators, too.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the December "Microphoto of the Month".
A team from VMNH recently travelled to Manhattan to procure an enourmous private collection of taxidermy mounts.
There may be some science behind Santa’s choice of reindeer to pull his sleigh.
Students from the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science &Technology visit the Silverbell trail.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the November "Microphoto of the Month"
Mammalogy class from Virginia Military Institute visits the Museum.
VMNH Staff present activity on climate change at the PHCC STEM Day.
Biology Research Technician Liberty Hightower discusses preparation of specimens that will end up in the collections as skeletons. ***Warning - some images may be viewed as graphic.***
Students from the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science &Technology
analyze the (imaginary) forests inside the New College Institute building in Martinsville.
Why are there so many acorns one year, and so few the next?
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the October "Microphoto of the Month".
Bats, which are often featured in Halloween lore and scary decorations, should be appreciated rather than feared.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief embarks on a trip to the North Carolina Zoo with students from the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science &Technology.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the September "Microphoto of the Month".
A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ annual BugFest includes an unexpected introduction to insect cuisine.
Prepping animal skeletons for the reference collection involves several steps – defleshing, dermestids, degreasing, and final cleaning.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the August "Microphoto of the Month".
VMNH curators and staff are trying to save as many fossil beds as possible before they are lost to expanded mining operations at Solite Quarry.
The Research & Collections division at VMNH recently hosted approximately 160 students from the Lynchburg College Summer Residential Governor's School Program in Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
Archaeologists from all over the world share what they are doing on the Day of Archeology.
You can find a book on almost every topic. Even barbed wire.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the July "Microphoto of the Month".
A 5-day zooarchaeology lab course is being offered by Dr. Elizabeth Moore at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief recently attended the annual conference of the American Society of Mammalogists and presented a summary of her research.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the June "Microphoto of the Month".
VMNH’s Geological Collections Specialist Sarah Timm works with student volunteers to preserve specimens for future exhibits, education, and research.
VMNH Publications Insects of Virginia and Myriapodologica are now available as free PDFs on the museum website
Let’s get real about fictional archaeologists.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief recently attended the annual conference of the Virginia Academy of Science and presented a summary of her research.
Examination of pathology on a turtle carapace indicates that the carapace was broken and healed while the turtle was alive. Then somebody probably ate it.
Closer examination of the canid (dog/wolf) skull currently being reconstructed at VMNH shows butchering scars on the cranium.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses the April "Microphoto of the Month".
Check out the latest issue of the ASV Quarterly Bulletin – how many places figures or photos contain VMNH labs or specimens?
Science doesn’t stop, even when there’s a war on.
Last week was a busy one for Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Curator of Archaeology at VMNH. Dr. Moore met with met with a variety of people working in archaeology and historic preservation including students and faculty from VCU, staff at the Department of Historic Resources, and professional and avocational archaeologists from the Archaeological Society of Virginia.
Dr. Elizabeth Moore discusses the 44th Annual Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.
Dr. Jim Beard discusses his first "Microphoto of the Month".
Drs. Elizabeth Moore and Joe Keiper from VMNH identify dead bivalves collected from the Dan River following the Duke Energy coal ash spill.
Dr. Elizabeth Moore and Ray Vodden are reconstructing a skull of a canid in order to attempt to determine if it is dog or wolf.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief describes her recent visit to the Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
In honor of Black History Month, the Research & Collections Division would like to recognize the achievements of a selection of pioneering scientists.
Our address is 21 Starling Avenue in Martinsville, Virginia. We do a lot, and a lot of good, down here in the south-central area of the Commonwealth. But... our mission says we are to interpret Virginia’s natural heritage for all citizens. That’s a big task – and we’re getting there!
Scientists rely not only on specimens but also on the documentation about them.
Museums are good at preserving the record of the past, and using the knowledge gained from our specimens and artifacts to plot new roads to the future. Information gleaned from archaeological records hundreds of years ago assists wildlife management experts restore natural communities as they were prior to European contact.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief recently attended the annual conference of the Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
Dr. Moncrief discusses her recent presentation.
Intern Katelin Clifton recently assisted Dr. Moncrief with her on-going research.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief describes her recent visit to the Milwaukee Public Museum.
Dr. Nancy Moncrief discusses her recent attendance at The Wildlife Society conference.
Sarah Timm, Geological Collections Specialist, recently attended the Denver Gem and Mineral Show.