We're having a blast at Waynesboro Riverfest today!
April 30, 2022
We're having a blast at Waynesboro Riverfest today! If you are attending, be sure to stop by to see Mary Zell and the rest of the museum team at the VMNH booth!
VMNH Assistant Curator of Archaeology Dr
April 29, 2022
VMNH Assistant Curator of Archaeology Dr. Hayden Bassett, who also serves as director of the Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab (CHML) headquartered here at the museum, participated in a foreign press briefing hosted by the U.S. Department of State this morning to brief the international media on the efforts of CHML in helping protect the national cultural treasures of Ukraine that are under threat due to the armed conflict with Russia. A transcript of the briefing, as well as a video recording of it, can be found on the Department of State's website at https://www.state.gov/briefings-foreign-press-centers/%E2%80%AFsmithsonians-cultural-heritage-rescue-work-in-ukraine.
Be sure to come out to see us at the Waynesboro Riverfest this Saturday!
April 27, 2022
Be sure to come out to see us at the Waynesboro Riverfest this Saturday! This FREE outdoor event takes place river-side at Constitution Park in Waynesboro, Virginia and includes activities, such as Reptile World shows, Stream Safari, presentations by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Fish and Fun Rodeo, canoe rides, kids arts & crafts, food vendors, and concludes with the Great South River Duck Race! Click the event link to learn more!
Though the museum is closed to visitors today in preparation of this evening's Grapes & ...
April 23, 2022
Though the museum is closed to visitors today in preparation of this evening's Grapes & Grains: A safari-themed wine and brandy tasting event, we'd be loathed not to provide activities on Earth Day! VMNH Educator Terri Robertson is at the nearby Gravely-Lester Art Garden for the Piedmont Arts "Earth Day Family Day" event from 10am to 2pm today, providing several nature-themed activities for children and families. Be sure to stop by and join all of the fun...the event is free to attend! Learn more at: piedmontarts.org/calendar/event.cfm?eID=1159
VMNH Administrator of Science Ben Williams here with another #BenInNature update for all you ...
April 22, 2022
VMNH Administrator of Science Ben Williams here with another #BenInNature update for all you nature lovers out there... We're all familiar with harvestmen -- better known as "daddy long legs" -- but this guy is something a little bit different! It's a type of armored harvestman belonging to the genus Vonones, of which there are just two described species: V. ornatus and V. sayi (they look very similar, so I'm not sure which of the two this little fellow is). The genus Vonones belongs to the family Cosmetidae, of which there are more than 700 species spread throughout South America, Central America, and Mexico; however, the two species in Vonones are the only members of the family you're likely to find in the U.S.! ...
Please remember that the museum will be CLOSED to visitors tomorrow ...
April 22, 2022
Please remember that the museum will be CLOSED to visitors tomorrow, Saturday, April 23 as museum staff prepare for tomorrow evening's Grapes & Grains: A safari-themed wine and brandy tasting event.
April 21, 2022
Last call! The safari-themed wine and brandy tasting event - Grapes & Grains - is this Saturday from 6:30 to 10pm at the Virginia Museum of Natural History...tickets are required to attend!
This little guy is Lytta aenea, a member of the blister beetle family!
April 20, 2022
This little guy is Lytta aenea, a member of the blister beetle family! Blister beetles come by their name honestly; the males secrete cantharidin, an odorless, colorless substance that can cause burns or poisoning in large enough quantities. The males give the cantharidin to the females as a gift, and the females use it to cover their eggs to protect them against predators. If you handle a blister beetle, these secretions can in fact cause your skin to blister. However, blister beetles can also be useful to us humans. For example, cantharidin is collected from blister beetles and used to treat warts. Cantharidin is also frequently collected from the blister beetle Lytta vesicatoria and used as a dubious aphrodisiac; you ...
ATTENTION GRADUATE STUDENTS: Applications due April 25!
April 18, 2022
ATTENTION GRADUATE STUDENTS: Applications due April 25! There is only one week left to submit your proposals for the 2022 Graduate Student Research Award made possible by the Pete Henika Memorial Fund of the Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation. The award, up to $3,000 per student, will be given to two graduate students from a Virginia university for field-based research projects focusing on Virginia natural history. One award will be specifically for questions pertaining to Virginia geology, while the second project selected can be on any topic pertinent to Virginia natural history (Geology, Paleontology, Biology, Archaeology). Click or tap the link to learn more!
Please note the museum will be CLOSED TO VISITORS THIS SATURDAY (April 23) as we prepare for the ...
April 18, 2022
Please note the museum will be CLOSED TO VISITORS THIS SATURDAY (April 23) as we prepare for the evening's Grapes & Grains event.
Thanks for stopping by for a visit and an exhibit tour today ...
April 15, 2022
Thanks for stopping by for a visit and an exhibit tour today, Happy Feet Early Learning and Child Center!
The latest episode of the VMNHcast is now available on Spotify ...
April 14, 2022
The latest episode of the VMNHcast is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and the VMNH website! In episode #2, VMNH Administrator of Science Ben Williams sits down with Dr. Alex Hastings, Paleontology Curator at the Science Museum of Minnesota and former VMNH Assistant Curator of Paleontology, to discuss the ancient cave cat, "Petra". Last fall, Dr. Hastings excavated Petra - a large fossil cat dating back to the Ice Age - from a cave in western Virginia. Shortly after, he sat down with Williams and discussed the difficulties of removing such a large, delicate specimen from a treacherous cave, theories of how Petra wound up in the cave, and much more. HOW TO LISTEN Visit the museum's website at www.vmnh. ...
Here's a photo from VMNH Associate Curator of Recent Invertebrates: a mating pair of March flies!
April 13, 2022
Here's a photo from VMNH Associate Curator of Recent Invertebrates: a mating pair of March flies! There are 32 species of March flies (family Bibionidae) that can be found in North America, and the vast majority of them appear in the spring, albeit briefly; the adults have very short life spans and the females die after laying eggs. While the adults of some species of March fly don't feed at all, those that do feed exclusively on nectar and pollen. They're important pollinators, especially for fruit orchards. While the March flies we have in Virginia aren't likely to cause any trouble, there's one species in the southeastern U.S. that doesn't have many fans: Plecia nearctica, better known as the "lovebug." Lovebugs have ...
VMNH was pleased to host U
April 12, 2022
VMNH was pleased to host U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith (representing Virginia's 9th District) and Virginia Delegate Marie E. March (representing Virginia's 7th District) today to provide insight into some of the exciting research currently taking place at the museum. VMNH Assistant Curator of Archaeology Dr. Hayden Bassett, who also serves as Director of the Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab (CHML) headquartered at the museum, provided a behind-the-scenes look at the work his team is conducting monitoring and mapping cultural heritage sites in Ukraine, while Paleontology Research Technician Lucy Treado provided insight into "Petra", an ancient cat recently extracted from a cave in southwest Virginia that museum ...
"Tangier Island ...
April 12, 2022
"Tangier Island, Virginia: An Opportunity to Enhance Energy Resilience in a Remote Island Community" presented by Dr. Jonathan Miles, James Madison University professor and Executive Director of the JMU Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy.
Tickets remain available for the Virginia Museum of Natural History ...
April 12, 2022
Tickets remain available for the Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation's Grapes & Grains wine and brandy tasting event on Saturday, April 23! Reserve your tickets today!
Join us at the historic Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Virginia tomorrow, Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p
April 11, 2022
Join us at the historic Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Virginia tomorrow, Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. for the final 'Science Talk' of the 2021-22 season! Dr. Jonathan Miles, James Madison University professor and Executive Director of the JMU Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy, is set to present "Tangier Island, Virginia: An Opportunity to Enhance Energy Resilience in a Remote Island Community". The presentation is free to attend and will also be streamed live on the Facebook pages of the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Wayne Theatre. ABOUT DR. MILES Dr. Jonathan Miles is a JMU Professor of Integrated Science and Technology and the Executive Director of the JMU Center for the Advancement of ...
Welcome to the very first episode of the VMNHcast!
April 4, 2022
Welcome to the very first episode of the VMNHcast! This new podcast, hosted by VMNH Administrator of Science Ben Williams, will feature interviews with museum staff and friends of VMNH discussing the work they're doing to move science forward in Virginia and across the world. In this sneak preview of the very first episode, VMNH Assistant Curator of Archaeology Dr. Hayden Bassett discusses the Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab (CHML), which is using satellite technology to monitor endangered archaeological sites around the world -- including those in Ukraine. Dr. Bassett is joined by Capt. Bill Welsh, Director of Operations for the CHML. We hope you enjoy this inaugural episode, and you can look forward to ...
‼️ Please note that the museum will open at NOON ...
April 1, 2022
‼️ Please note that the museum will open at NOON, tomorrow SATURDAY, APRIL 2 due to road closures around the museum. The road closures are due to a morning marathon.
It's time for another edition of #BenInNature with VMNH Administrator of Science Ben Williams!
April 1, 2022
It's time for another edition of #BenInNature with VMNH Administrator of Science Ben Williams! I figured we should celebrate the start of a new month with a look at one of my favorite birds: the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)! The northern cardinal can be found year-round across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., and it's been said that this bird has inspired more people to start birding than any other. It's easy to see why; when you spot a cardinal, it immediately draws all of your attention! Have you ever had a cardinal attack one of the windows of your house? When spring arrives, cardinals will often start attacking people's windows. This is because when the weather warms up, cardinals get pumped full of ...
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