FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 1, 2013
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Slither down to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for Reptile & Amphibian Day, Saturday, March 16
Featured guest, Mike Dorcas and his 15-foot Burmese Python
RALEIGH — It’s been called one of the coolest events the Museum puts on, and this year won’t disappoint. Snakes, snakes and more snakes are the theme of this year’s Reptile & Amphibian Day  at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. On Saturday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the main Museum and the Nature Research Center will be transformed into a herpetological paradise. Free! From boas to pythons, pit vipers to rattlesnakes, visitors can get up close and personal with all manner of serpents as well as live frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles, lizards and crocodilians.
In addition to native North Carolina species, the event will also feature many live exotic and colorful animals from around the world. There will also be more than 50 interactive exhibits, stations, activities and presentations for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Learn how to find and identify amphibians in your backyard, ask questions of our resident experts and learn the differences between reptiles and amphibians, what defines a frog and a toad, and why salamanders are nature's litmus test. Additional exhibits include advice for potential "Herp" (reptile and amphibian) pet owners. Snake Bracelets, a craft activity, will be offered for those 7 and under. Stations include North Carolina Natives, Where Have All the Frogs Gone?, North Carolina’s Salamanders, My First Snake, Fossil Herps and much more. New stations include Geckos of Madagascar, Softshell Turtles and Learning about Citizen Science. Exhibitors include Avian and Exotic Animal Care, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Triangle Iguana Rescue, and North Carolina Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, just to name a few. For the first time, Reptile & Amphibian Day will also host the North Carolina State-Record Snapping Turtle.
This year’s featured guest is Dr. Mike Dorcas, Professor in the Department of Biology at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. He’ll be bringing a 15-foot Burmese python. Dr. Dorcas’s research focuses on the effects of urbanization on amphibians and reptiles. He’s also involved in several research projects, including studies of invasive Burmese pythons in Florida and the ecology and conservation of diamondback terrapins in South Carolina.
Reptile & Amphibian Day Presentation Schedule:
SECU Daily Planet Theater
- 10 a.m. — Dr. Bryan Stuart, Curator of Herpetology, NCMNS, “Venom Evolution in Snakes and Lizards”
- 11 a.m. — Dr. Amanda Chunco, Elon University, “Looking For Love in all the Wrong Places: Hybridization in Amphibians”
- 1 p.m. — Dr. Mike Dorcas, Davidson College, “The Problem of Giant Pythons in the United States”
- 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. — Peyton Hale/Adrian Yirka, NCMNS, Snake Feedings
- 3 p.m. — Dr. George Edwards Jr., The Raleigh Hand Center, “Emergency Treatment of Copperhead Bites”
Windows on the World
- 11:30 a.m. — Dr. Bryan Stuart, Curator of Herpetology, NCMNS, “Amphibians and Reptiles of Laos”
- 1:30 p.m. — Dr. Jennifer Sheridan, NCMNS, “Amphibian Conservation in Changing Tropical Habitats”
- 2:30 p.m. — Alex Gunderson, Duke University, “The Price is Wrong: How a Game Show Can Help Us Understand the Effects of Climate Warming on Reptiles and Amphibians”
- 3:30 p.m. — Jeffrey C. Beane, Herpetology Collection Manager, NCMNS, “Secrets from the Fire Forest (Spying on Rare Snakes in the North Carolina Sandhills)”
Lunch, snacks and beverages will be available in the Acro Café on the fourth floor of the main Museum or in the Daily Planet Café on the first floor of the NRC. A special “Herp Shop” will offer for sale a selection of T-shirts, posters and books on reptiles and amphibians. For more details on Reptile and Amphibian Day, please call Miranda Wood at 919.707.9885 or via e-mail, email@example.com .
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St.) and its new wing, the Nature Research Center (121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Hours: Mon.- Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the web at www.naturalsciences.org . The Museum is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John Skvarla., Secretary.