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How do scientists know what dinosaurs looked ...

March 3, 2021

How do scientists know what dinosaurs looked like? How do scientists know what color dinosaurs were? How do scientists know that dinosaurs laid eggs? How do scientists know what food dinosaurs ate? Oh, and how do scientists know woolly mammoths had fur? These were all great questions a curious young learner from Carlisle School had for VMNH Assistant Curator of Paleontology Dr. Adam Pritchard, so he answers them in this week's special edition of "Tales of Ancient Life" presented by Carter Bank & Trust and Boxley Materials Company! ABOUT TALES OF ANCIENT LIFE Our planet has an incredible story to tell and VMNH Assistant Curator of Paleontology Dr. Adam Pritchard helps share it through his original video series, "Tales of ...


Ben here with today's #BenInNature update ...

March 3, 2021

Ben here with today's #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! This week, we're looking at some of my favorite never-before-seen photos of critters we've looked at previously. Today's pick: the eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), one of the most photogenic little critters you're liable to find out in the woods here in southwest Virginia! This particular eastern newt is in the "red eft" stage of life, which is when these newts are easiest to find. If you go out into the woods in the spring or summer shortly after a rainstorm and keep your eyes on the ground, you're pretty likely to spot one! These newts have quite an unusual life cycle. They begin their lives as aquatic larvae, and ...


Ben here with another #BenInNature update ...

March 2, 2021

Ben here with another #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! This week, we're looking at some of my favorite never-before-seen photos of critters we've looked at previously. One of my very first nature posts was about the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), North America's largest tree squirrel, and today we're looking at another fox squirrel I photographed just a couple of weeks ago! While gray squirrels can have differing coat colors, they can't hold a candle to the fox squirrel when it comes to coat variation. I have a decent population of fox squirrels on my property, and it seems as though no two look alike. Fox squirrels generally have a reddish coat and white spots on their nose and the ...


Ben here with the Monday edition of ...

March 1, 2021

Ben here with the Monday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! This week, I'd like to do something a little bit different: I'm going to share some of my favorite photos that have never before been featured in nature updates! For the most part, these are critters that we've seen before in this space, but weeks or months later, I managed to snap an even better picture. To kick things off, here's a picture of an eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) that I spotted this past fall! Have you ever wondered why squirrels seem to have such a hard time crossing the street? There's nothing more anxiety-inducing than rounding a corner, seeing a squirrel in the road, and then watching it ...


We're reaching into the archives for today's ...

February 28, 2021

We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! The following post was originally published on May 29, 2020. Yesterday we looked at the larval antlion (family Myrmeleontidae), often referred to as the "doodlebug," which makes its home at the bottom of a sandy pit and devours any unfortunate critters that fall inside. Today we're looking at the adult form of the antlion, which looks a little bit different than you might expect! When I found this adult antlion in my yard recently, I thought it was a damselfly; damselflies look similar to dragonflies, but they're generally smaller, skinnier, and fold their wings along their body when they're at rest instead ...


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