Sask Culture - Funding provided by Saskatchewan Lotteries

Natural History Room

Bison in the Natural History RoomNatural Sciences: The GCHCC natural history collection features mammal and bird specimens common to southwest Saskatchewan. The natural history collection was the focus of the Museum during its early years and continues to appeal to tourists and local residents. Many of the specimens date back to the origins of the museum in the 1930’s. Many of the exhibits are displayed in a diorama depicting the natural habitat of the species on display.

The Plains Buffalo (Bison): a large member of the ox family, one difference from the ox is the hump on the shoulders and the long shaggy hair on the forehead, neck and shoulders. Buffalo feed on grass and the leaves, twigs, shoots and bark of trees.

Pronghorned Antelope: not a true antelope, has a chunky body, large ears, slender legs and a short tail. Colour can vary from light tan to reddish brown with some white fur on its under parts, rump, sides of its face and on its throat. The horns are 30 to 38 cm and have a bony core with a black horny covering. The pronghorn is the only animal in the world that regularly sheds its horn covers. Lives in open grassland and has keen eye sight as well as fast speed (96 k sprint, 64 k for 2 hours for 3 k).

The Bobcat: long legs, short tail and pointed ears tipped with short hairs. Short fur varies in colour from tan to reddish brown with dark spots and blotches, long hairs on the animal's face resemble sideburns. Live in swamps, mountains and wooded or shrubby areas. They have keen sight and hearing. They are also good climbers and can swim. Bobcats feed chiefly on rabbits, birds and rodents.

The Raccoon: bush ringed tail and a band of black hair around its eyes. Coarse, long hair generally gray in colour, tinged with yellow or brown. Pointed snout and long, flexible fingers.

The Black Squirrel: furry-tailed animal with large, black eyes and rounded ears. Chisel-like front teeth.

The Whitetailed Deer: antlers are bones not horns which are strong, hard layers of skin. In North America deer were second only to beavers in supplying the pioneers with meat and clothing.

The Lynx: weigh from 6 to 11 kg. Fur is light gray or grayish brown. They have stubby tails and long tufts of hair on their pointed ears. Feed on snowshoe rabbits and other small animals.

The Magpie: belongs to the crow and jay family. Magpies eat almost all kinds of food. They build domed nests with an opening in the side. Magpies can live up to 12 years.

The Great Blue Heron: largest American heron. Uses its long bill to catch fish. A wading bird. Nest and roost in flocks but hunt alone.

The Beaver: furry animal with a wide, flat tail shaped like a paddle. They cut down trees with their strong front teeth. They eat the bark and construct dams and shelters with the branches. They live in fresh water near woodlands. Can swim under water for 0.8 k and hold its breath for 15 minutes. They are the largest rodents in North America.

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Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre   (306) 297-3882
440 Centre Street - P.O. Box 966, Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada S0N 2M0
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