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Squamate Studio

Examples of the hands-on section that was in the exhibition for younger visitors and their parents included these and other elements:


Caterpillar mimicking a viper as predator deterrent

© S.J. Krasemann / Peter Arnold, Inc.

Lizards Q&A

Visitors were invited to look at 12 lizards-/snake- related objects and guess what they are, or what function they serve.

Make a Snake/Make a Lizard

Materials: snake and lizard skeletons, segmented and embedded in acrylic.
Activity: put pieces together, guided by a template on the table. Discover the differences and similarities between snakes and lizards.

Teeth and Tongues

Materials: Four sculpted heads, labeled Rattlesnake, Komodo Dragon, Chameleon, Horned Lizard, attached to a board by hinges; four sculpted mouths, each illustrating a feeding/chemosensory mechanism.
Activity: fit the mouth to the right head, learn about feeding and tracking adaptations.

Memory Match

Materials: Five foot long snake, table height, mounted on legs. Covered boxes, inset in body, conceal snake artifacts--sheds, rattles, eggs.
Activity: find matching pairs, remember location


Camouflaged Southern Leaf-tailed gecko

© Doug Cheeseman / Peter Arnold, Inc.

Where Do They Hide?

Materials: Two horizontally mounted plastic sliders, one for snakes and one for lizards. Each has four camouflage environment photos (fixed) and two animal images (movable).
Activity: Kids slide the animals over the backgrounds, see where they disappear, learn about the importance of squamate camouflage.

Feel for Yourself

Materials: Plaque with low-relief casts of surfaces of eight squamates, labeled as to species.
Activity: Touch them. Compare textures, appreciate that scales differ from group to group.

Python Skull

An articulated model of a larger-than-life python skull will only be used with an explainer present. It illustrates the skull anatomy that allows these and other snakes to consume prey much larger than themselves.

American Museum of Natural History

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Phone: 212-769-5100

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