Lizards Leap, Snakes Slither and Frogs Croak at 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 critters.

If it slithers, swims, hops or leaps and is a reptile or amphibian, chances are it will be the center of attention in fun exhibits, shows and hands-on activities at this year's Reptile Fest at the Museum of Nature & Science. Kids will also be able to collect free reptile trading cards with beautiful photos on one side and fascinating facts on the back.

Amphibians join reptiles for the first time this year at the annual Reptile Fest, a two-day event sponsored by GEICO and the Junior League of Dallas that explores the mysterious and misunderstood world of snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, salamanders and other wildlife. The fun happens Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 8, 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 Reptile Fest emphasizes audience participation with crafts, hands-on demonstrations and other activities that engage visitors rather than simply making them spectators.

For example, Dr. Kerry Kriger, with the animal preservation group Save the Frogs!, will teach the answers to these questions: How long do frogs live? How many types of frogs are there? What do tadpoles eat? Do all frogs live in water? Experts from Wildlife on the Move will involve audience members in several fun, entertaining, and educational presentations.

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

In addition to Save the Frogs! and Wildlife on the Move, families can experience reptile and amphibian life with the help of the Dallas-Fort Worth Turtle and Tortoise Club, Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, Dallas Herpetological Society, Dallas Zoo, Junior League of Dallas and others. Kids will delight in making reptile crafts.

Wildlife Shows
"Cool, Cold-Blooded Critters"
Presented by: Wildlife on the Move    Cool, Cold-Blooded Critters features an alligator, lizard, tortoise, and a variety of snakes from around the world with time for everyone to touch an animal at the conclusion of the adventure.    Saturday: 11:30 a.m. - Sunday: 12:30 p.m.

"Is it poisonous?"
Presented by: Wildlife on the Move    See and learn about several unusual structural and behavioral adaptations that make it possible for some of our native Texas snakes to survive.    
Saturday: 1:30 p.m. - Sunday: 2 p.m.

"The Wild World of Frogs"
Presented by: Dr. Kerry Kriger of Save the Frogs!    How long do frogs live? How many types of frogs are there? What do tadpoles eat? Do all frogs live in water? Dr. Kriger answers all of these questions and more as he introduces children to the wild world of amphibians and increases their interest in environmental conservation. The presentation features many of his photos of amphibians from around the world.    
Saturday: 12 & 2:30 p.m. - Sunday: 1:30 p.m.

"Amphibians in Danger"
Presented by: Dr. Kerry Kriger of Save the Frogs!    Frog populations have been disappearing worldwide at alarming rates in recent years. Threats to frogs include pollution, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species, climate change, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades. Dr. Kriger will discuss these threats and what we can do to prevent further amphibian declines and extinctions.    
Saturday: 4 p.m. - Sunday: 2:30 p.m.

"Reptiles in Your Backyard"
Presented by: Mark Pyle of the Dallas Fort Worth Herpetological Society    Learn about the common reptiles and amphibians that you may be able to find living right in your own backyard!    
Saturday: 10:45 a.m. & 12:45 p.m. - Sunday: 3:30 & 4:30 p.m.

"Boas vs. Pythons"
Presented by: Wildlife on the Move    Boas vs. Pythons features creatures from six continents within a sports theme and presented in a fun, entertaining and educational manner for all ages. Some lucky audience members get a chance to assist the presenters on stage and interact with the show's stars.    Saturday: 3 p.m.
Sunday: 3:30 p.m.

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.

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


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