Teachers’ Lounge

Snakes and Lizards: Summer of Slither

by michelle on May. 25th, 2011 No Comments

Is your school year over, but you’re not ready to stop surrounding yourself with colorful creatures?  Come to the Academy and visit our newest temporary exhibit, Snakes and Lizards: the Summer of Slither. From May 9 to September 5, 2011, this traveling exhibit from the American Museum of Natural History will be here in the Forum up on the 2nd floor of the Academy. Photo: © AMNH/D. Finnin

I’ve been on maternity leave, but one of the first things I did when I returned (besides wade through my emails) was take a peek. We’ve been talking about it for some time here at the Academy and I was excited to see it. It didn’t disappoint. Many of the exhibits are designed so that you can see the inhabitants from lots of angles (which also makes them easier to see when there are crowds). I was a big fan of the water monitor which was flicking its tongue while it walked through (you guessed it) the water.

There is tons of information about each animal as well. The space is divided up into three sections: those that see their way through the world, those that smell their way through the world, and those that slither their way through the world. In addition to the standard ‘where does it live, how big does it get, and what does it eat’, there is also information on each animals’ relationships among the other squamates (that’s fancy talk for snakes and lizards). Photo: © AMNH/D. Finnin

In case you’re inspired to bring your kids to the Academy next school year to see more snakes and lizards, we have a couple of scavenger hunts designed to highlight the squamates we have elsewhere in the Academy. One is a fun, more general hunt, and the other is more open and calls attention to the relationship between structure and function. Check them out!

If you can’t get to the Academy, but can’t get enough of snakes and lizards, we have an activity involving the lengths of different some specific snakes and lizards that help teach about measurement (and you’ll learn a little about how these amazing squamates move).

As an aside, a few months back I had occasion to meet some of the folks down in the Herpetology Department here at the Academy. They are indeed a bunch of colorful creatures! Check out more of what they do here!

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