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The Arthur Ross Terrace will be closed this morning, Tuesday, October 21, for a private cultural observance. You many observe smoke and/or fire coming from the Terrace at that time. The FDNY has been notified in advance, and all safety precautions are in place. The Terrace will reopen at 1 pm.

A World of Sights

© Zack Bittner

American Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Meet the Ancient Squamates

Squamates have been on Earth for about 200 million years. The ancient animals were small, and we don't have many fossils--but those we have hold clues about how the animals looked and behaved. Scientists think the earliest members of the group had well-developed visual systems for locating moving prey.

If you compare the skeletons of living squamates with those that are extinct, you can see that they're similar. This means that these animals are a great evolutionary success story. Their basic "blueprint" has survived 200 million years of environmental change.

© Stephen Dalton / NHPA

Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) catching an insect

The Eyes Do the Walking

Their eyes take in what's ahead, behind, above and below--at the same time!--because they swivel independently. What's more, some scientists think chameleons can accurately judge distances with one eye, something other organisms can do only with two. With such amazing vision, a chameleon that shoots its sticky tongue at an insect, at speeds of up to 5 meters (16 feet) a second--almost never misses.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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