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Groundhog

Chesapeake Chuck is the Virginia Living Museum resident groundhog. Watch for him every February 2nd when he predicts Hampton Roads weather with WAVY-TV Meteorologist, Jeremy Wheeler. The ability of the famous Punxsutawney Phil to accurately forecast weather may be questionable, but early February is a good…

Big Brown Bat

Big Brown Bat Bats are the only mammals that can fly. They have tiny, thin wings that stretch from their forelegs to their hind legs to their tail. This ability earned them the scientific name Chiroptera, which means “hand-winged.” One of the 13 species of…

House Mouse

House Mouse The house mouse may be small but its quick, agile and inconspicuous manner allows it to creep into many homes through small crevices. The house mouse received its name from its frequent presence in people’s homes. They are an Old World species that…

Packrat/Woodrat

Packrat or Woodrat The Allegheny woodrat (also known as a packrat or trade rat) is a member of the rodent family. At one point endangered in the state of Maryland, the packrat has found a steady population in Virginia. This mammal lives in rocky environments…

Opossum

Opossum One of the world’s most primitive mammals is the opossum. They have existed relatively unchanged for nearly 90 million years and are the only marsupials (pouched mammals) that live in the United States. They are also found in Australia and South America. The opossum’s…

Flying Squirrel

Flying Squirrel The flying squirrel is one of four different types of squirrels found in Virginia. Squirrels are members of the rodent family, which includes beavers, chipmunks, mice and rats. Flying squirrels have a velvety coat of grayish-brown fur, big brown eyes and a pearly-white…

Skunk

Striped Skunk Skunks are found throughout the United States. Their name comes from the Algonquian Indian word seganku, which means polecat. This mammal has a small head, ears, eyes and a pointed nose. It has short legs, black fur and a wide rear end. It…

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer Today, the white-tailed deer has one of the largest wild animal populations found in Virginia. This highly-adaptive mammal can be seen wandering the grounds of one’s garden, backyard or a neighboring forest. Like elk, moose and caribou, the white-tailed deer is part of…

Northern River Otter

Northern River Otter The northern river otter (Lontra canadensis, formerly Lutra canadensis) is a semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal in the Mustelidae or “weasel family” which includes weasels, minks, ferrets, wolverines and badgers. They live along inland and coastal waterways of North America, predominantly in the Atlantic…

Beaver

Beaver When settlers were first exploring our country, they were surprised to find large rodents in the ponds and streams. These were our North American Beavers (Castor canadensis). At about 3 to 4 feet long and weighing up to 86 lbs, the average weight being…