Boas vs. Pythons: See the Big Squeeze Off at the Museum of Nature & Science's 'Reptile Fest'

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Fun, hands-on experience and myth-busting shows aim to create awareness, respect for misunderstood snakes and other reptiles at Dallas Museum of Nature & Science Nov. 8-9, 2008.

They move without legs and hear without ears, change colors and shed their skin, they can't close their eyes, and they're more scared of you than you should be of them. Snakes - and other reptiles - are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth, and joining us at Reptile Fest is a great way to learn to love them

Families will gasp for breath at the "Big Squeeze Off" between boas and pythons at this year's Reptile Fest at the Museum of Nature & Science (MNS) among many other fun exhibits, shows and hands-on activities. Kids will also be able to collect free reptile trading cards around the museum while supplies last. Beautifully illustrated pictures on one side will be complemented with fascinating facts on the back.

Reptile Fest is a two-day event exploring the mysterious and misunderstood world of snakes, lizards, turtles and other reptiles presented by local wildlife and reptile experts and is sponsored by GEICO and the Junior League of Dallas. The fun happens Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 9, noon to 5 p.m.

"They move without legs and hear without ears, change colors and shed their skin, they can't close their eyes, and they're more scared of you than you should be of them. Snakes - and other reptiles - are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth, and joining us at Reptile Fest is a great way to learn to love them," said Steve Hinkley, MNS education director.

Hinkley says that the annual Reptile Fest emphasizes audience participation with crafts, hands-on demonstrations and other activities that engage visitors rather than simply making them spectators.

For example, the "Big Squeeze Off" of boas vs. pythons features a variety of those snakes from six continents within a sports theme. The 45-minute show is presented by the experts from Wildlife on the Move in a fun, entertaining, and educational manner for all ages and it includes an opportunity for select audience members to assist the presenters on stage, as well as a time for everyone to touch an animal at the conclusion of the mighty competition.

Reptile Fest will include activities and seminars to educate museum guests about what makes reptiles different from other animals in nature; the social responsibility people have in keeping these animals as pets; and the environmental impacts people place on the reptile habitat.

In addition to presentations from Wildlife on the Move and the Dallas Herpetological Society, families can experience reptile life with the help of the Dallas-Fort Worth Turtle and Tortoise Club, Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, and others, which will lead hands-on activities where guests can touch reptiles and watch how they move. Kids will delight in making reptile crafts or getting a reptile tattoo.

The education goal of Reptile Fest is to shed fears and common misconceptions about reptiles and to help the public gain understanding and appreciation for these amazing animals.

Admission is free for members. Non-members: adults $8.75; children 3 to 11 $5.50; youths 12 to 18, students over 18 and seniors 62 and older with ID $7.75.

A complete activities and times list is attached. Photos and more can be downloaded directly from our online newsroom. To access it:

1) Go to https://promotesuccesspr.sharedwork.com
2) Enter in the "Email address" box: mns
3) Enter in the "Password" box: fairpark

About the Museum of Nature & Science:
The Museum of Nature & Science, formerly the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum, is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas' Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, MNS delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition and research and collections programming for students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The MNS campus includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The museum is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and EDS. To learn more visit http://www.natureandscience.org.

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Craig McDaniel
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