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UNIQUE, NEW RATTLESNAKE ON DISPLAY
Photographer Blythe Summers/Courtesy of MDWFP
You can now see a rare, uniquely colored, canebrake rattlesnake and learn more about this species
The Museum was alerted about this snake by private landowners in Yazoo County, MS and we are excited to have it.
Once at the Museum, the snake was held behind the scenes for several months receiving the best of care from our devoted staff as it acclimated to its new home. It is doing well and has now been placed on public display for all to see.
Rather than having the typical distinct black chevron markings on a gray or tan body, this rattlesnake has a muted pattern with orange eyes and pale pinkish-brown body coloration. It exhibits a type of albinism that results in less, but not a complete absence, of dark pigments.
Canebrake, or timber, rattlesnakes can be found across much of Mississippi, though are rare near the Gulf Coast which is primarily diamondback rattlesnake territory. They are generally shy and secretive, and their numbers are declining across their range.
Adult canebrake rattlesnakes average about 4 feet in length but may occasionally reach lengths of about 6 feet.
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UPDATED LEFLEUR'S BLUFF STATE PARK BIRD CHECKLIST
Fall Migration has begun and what better place to see migrating birds than on the trails behind the museum!
Almost 50% of all bird species found in Mississippi have been documented in Lefleur's Bluff State Park! 211 of which are on this official checklist.
LeFleurs Bluff is the state’s largest urban center, supporting bird diversity through varied habitats and easy access to bird viewing for Mississippi’s citizens.
As the temperatures cool off in the next few months and migrants make their journey south, visit the trails to see how many species you can find using this updated Lefleur’s Bluff State Park Bird List.
NEW DINOSAUR TRAIL NOW OPEN
Nestled along one of the museum’s nature trails, you can see six large-scale, 3-D dinosaur models, including a Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Chasmosaurus, Nodosaurus, Appalachiosaurus, and an Eotrachodon with nest and newly hatched babies.
Along the way, learn a fascinating fact about each dinosaur as well as its height, length, weight, diet, and time period.
The new trail officially opened on July 1, 2022, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the memory of the project’s benefactor, Gerard “Jerry” Case, a long-time friend of the museum (see below). The museum and the Foundation are grateful for this gift and proud to recognize Mr. Case’s achievements in the field of paleontology with this new Dinosaur Trail that will delight generations of museum visitors!
NEW LEFLEUR'S BLUFF EDUCATION & TOURISM COMPLEX PLAYGROUND
Hours: M-F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sun: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. The playground will be closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
BIRD FLIGHT EXHIBIT
MDWFP’s Mississippi Museum of Natural Science recently unveiled “Bird Flight”, a stunning, permanent exhibit created in memory of B.E. Gandy, Museum Director/Curator from 1958–1987. Learn how birds fly, measure your wingspan, and see a murmuration, in this fascinating exhibit.
Flying enables birds to escape predators, look for food, and migrate. As an avid birder, Mr. Gandy was fascinated by bird flight, especially the phenomenon of bird murmurations. A murmuration is a flock of hundreds or thousands of birds flying in a whirling, twisting, morphing pattern.
Within a murmuration, flight information is somehow instantly communicated, allowing the flock to respond as one. Murmurations confuse predators and also attract other birds to roost together at night for added safety.