Squamate Studio

Part of the Lizards and Snakes: Alive! exhibition.

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.