Weekend Science with Critter Connections: Every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Explore natural history, science and more with hands-on activities, intriguing demonstrations, special guest demonstrations and even the museum's little critters.
Shark Feeding: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.
The teeth of a viperfish are so sharp and long that if it closed its mouth with the teeth inside, it would pierce its brain.
Male humpback whales can sing up to half an hour nonstop and even mimic other whale songs.
When a member of a whale group is sick or injured, other whales will push it up to the surface of the water to help it breathe.
Dolphins are part of the whale family.
Sharks lose teeth a lot when they eat. Some sharks will replace as many as 25,000 teeth in a lifetime.
Snakes eat their body weight in one year.
Polar bears have black skin.
Bears they are not: A panda is actually in the raccoon family and koalas are marsupials.
Penguins mate for life and both parents care for their young.
Giraffes can grow more than 18 feet tall.
Wooly mammoths grew as tall as 14 feet, weighing 10 tons. Mammoths used tusks for protection and to attract mates.
Female lions are the primary hunters of the pride.
If your love for animals extends beyond house pets, then a trip to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum is for you.
Here you'll see everything from a real wooly mammoth tooth and a shark jaw bone to exhibits on just about every wild animal under the sun. The Las Vegas Natural History Museum features so much information and so many lifelike replicas of extinct and present day animals that you'll feel like you're at the zoo.
If we listed and explained every animal in here, you'd be as old as the dinosaurs on display! Luckily, the various rooms make exploring the museum easy. If you're into sea creatures, you'll learn about whales in the Marine Life Gallery and see huge whale models hanging from the ceiling. For instance, mother whales not only teach their young, but play with them too. For faster travel, the baby hangs on to its mother's fins as she rides through the waves. You can also push buttons to hear the sounds of a humpback whale, killer whale, pilot whale and dolphin.
In this same area, there's a pool filled with live baby sharks and sting rays. Shark feeding is Saturday at 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Just steps away, there is a wall full of fish tanks, an eel tank and a shark egg hatchery.
In the Prehistoric Gallery you can read about ichthyosaurs - extinct marine reptiles similar to modern-day dolphins. One of the largest ichthyosaurs of its time, Shonisaurus (the Nevada State fossil) reached lengths of 60 to 70 feet. Most ichthyosaurs were the size of dolphins. In this gallery, see towering models of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops going head-to-head with each other. The T-Rex was known to have teeth that were up to seven inches long and sharp as steak knives. The dim lighting and menacing dinosaur roars add the perfect touch to the gallery.
Just a few steps over, there's a kid's corner where children can do dinosaur rubbings, learn about roles of different scientists and look for "Nemo" in the Find Nemo tank.
The International Wildlife Room groups the wild cats and wild dogs right next to each other. While domestic dogs (for the most part) chase house cats, it's a different story in the wild. Wolves, coyotes and foxes can't hide their claws, while wildcats like lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars can tuck their claws and hunt in silence. The wildlife room also includes deer, polar bears, brown bears and black bears. You can feel the texture of a black bear's fur.
Across the way, the Wild Nevada Gallery includes plant and animal life native to Southern Nevada including bighorn sheep, coyotes and kit foxes.
Located downstairs, the Out of Africa Exhibit makes you feel like you're in the middle Disney's "The Lion King." See lions, wildebeests, zebras, hippos, hyenas and a warthog. There's also an African rainforest showcase where you can make it rain with a touch of a button.
It's one thing to see wild animals on Animal Planet, Discovery Channel or even in movies, but it's a completely different experience walking through this museum. Seeing it for yourself gives you a newfound appreciation for the animals, as well as their unique history and environment.
Before you leave, make sure to check out "Treasures of Egypt," a 4,000-square-foot exhibit displaying replica Egyptian artifacts. See 500 replicas, including King Tut's golden throne, shrine and chariots. One of the most striking pieces is the gold-painted sarcophagus, which sits atop King Tut's tomb. Experience a walk through Pharaoh Tutankhamun's burial chamber and toy with an interactive mummy scan.
-- Review by Jeannie Garcia