A new animal has made its home at the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History. Pippa, a female, short-tailed opossum will reside in the BVMNH’s Discovery Room.
If you enjoy animals, stop by the museum to meet Pippa. Ask someone at the front desk to introduce you to the newest member of the Museum family.
A pet breeder in Huntsville donated 5-month-old Pippa to the BVMNH. Her scientific name is Monodelphis domestica, and the species originated in the rainforests of Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina.
Short-tailed opossums were brought to the USA in 1978 and have been bred and kept as pets. This species does well in captivity because they bond to humans and can be litterbox trained.
Pippa is a marsupial, but doesn’t have a pouch year round, rather the female’s stomach enlarges and creates a pouch during breeding season so the underdeveloped babies can be protected.
Unlike other marsupials that live in family groups, the short-tailed opossum is a solitary creature. They are nocturnal but still like to play, be held, and take naps in the owner’s arms during daylight hours.
Pipps is full-grown with a body length between 4-6 inches and a prehensile tail that ranges from 1.5-3 inches in length. Museum staff feed Pippa a varied diet of dry cat food, live crickets or mealworms, and some soft fruit like bananas and strawberries.
Through September: Astronomy’s New Messengers Exhibit
Step out of the heat this summer and into the cool, exciting traveling exhibit, Astronomy’s New Messengers: Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves. The exhibit is free and will be on display until September 1.
The exhibit offers a unique opportunity for visitors to be exposed to space and time as envisioned by Albert Einstein. The display includes images of the universe taken by ground and space-based telescopes, local tektites and meteorites and items from the physics department.
Astronomy’s New Messengers strives to increase an interest and understanding of astronomy and the science of gravitational waves.
LIGO, or Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is a physics experiment that detects ripples in space and time. The LIGO experiment is driven by the desire for exploration and the awe of nature.
Astronomy’s New Messengers captures the physics and technology of the LIGO instrument in an entertaining way. It incorporates interactive displays and activities to blend science and art into an eye-catching and informative exhibit.
This exhibit was made possible through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley and through underwriting provided by the William Knox Holt Foundation, the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the College of Science at Texas A&M University, the University of Mississippi, and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm. The summer hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm.
Admission is $5 for adults, seniors/students/children $4, and children 3 and under are free. For more information about our live animals and other displays, events, programs and activities, please contact the Museum at 979-776-2195 or visit us on the web at www.brazosvalleymuseum.org.