EXHIBITS | ANIMALS
From snakes to parakeets... be sure to visit our animal exhibits for lots of fun! All of the animals at the Science Center were either donated to us or were rescued on Exotic Animal Amnesty Day, and we are so happy that the Science Center gets to be their forever home. All of our animals offer a great opportunity to teach guests about various species, how to safely interact with animals, and bring joy to the hearts of all who visit our center. Interested in sponsoring an animal? Click here!
the Blue and Gold Macaw
Cici is a Blue and Gold Macaw. Blue and Golds are native to South America. These gorgeous birds can live to be 80 years old. She is named after Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin — a British-American astronomer and astrophysicist whose doctoral thesis discussed the composition and physical makeup of stars.
Ivan the Timneh African Grey Parrot
Ivan is a Timneh African Grey Parrot, the smaller of the two sub-species of African Greys. They are native to equatorial Africa. He is named after Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Russian physiologist and Nobel Prize winner. He is most famous for his groundbreaking research on the conditioned reflex as discovered with “Pavlov’s dogs.”
Florey & Fenner the Budgerigars
Florey and Fenner are Budgerigars, a.k.a Budgies or Parakeets. Budgies are the only Australian species of their genus. They are named after Howard Florey (Left) & Frank Fenner (Right). Florey was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who aided in the development of Penicillin. Fenner was an Australian virologist who helped eradicate smallpox.
African Pygmy Hedgehog
Lawrence the Guinea Pig
Lawrence is a Guinea Pig. Guinea pigs are no longer found in the wild, but are linked to a distant mountain-dwelling mammal ancestor in South America. He is named after William Lawrence Bragg a scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics with his father, scientist William Henry Bragg, for their breakthrough in the analysis of crystal structure using x-ray technology.
Rubin is an African Pygmy Hedgehog. They are the most common species of domesticated hedgehog and originally hail from Nigeria. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures that love to forage at night, and they are insectivores, meaning they primarily eat insects. Rubin is named after Vera Rubin, an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates.
Watson & Crick the Degus
Watson and Crick are Degus. These social creatures similar to Chinchillas are about five to seven inches long and come from Chile. They are named after Francis Crick (Right) and James Watson (Left), who won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the structure of DNA, one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century.
Ruby the Dumbo Rat
Ruby is a Dumbo Rat. These friendly and docile rats' distinguishing features are their ears: large, almost circular, and positioned low on their heads. Ruby is named after Ruby Violet Payne-Scott (1912-1981), an Australian pioneer in radiophysics and radio astronomy. She was the first female radio astronomer.
Marie, Pierre, & Becq the Sugar Gliders
Marie, Pierre, and Becq are Sugar Gliders. These marsupials are named for their preference for sugary foods and their ability to glide through the air. They are nocturnal animals that typically live in groups. Marie and Pierre are named after Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre Curie, known for their pioneering work in the study of radioactivity and their discovery of the elements radium and polonium. Becq is named after Henri Becquerel, the first person to discover evidence of radioactivity.
Diana the Golden Hamster
Diana is a Golden Hamster. These little hamsters are only 7-9" long and live 3-4 years. Hamsters usually live in burrows underground during the day, they are crepuscular which means they come out at twilight to feed. Diana is named after Diana Roman, a research scientist that focuses on understanding changes in seismicity & stress in response to the migration of magma through volcanic conduits.
Jenn & Emma the Fancy Rats
Jenn and Emma are Fancy Rats, the domesticated form of the Brown Rat, most commonly kept as pets. Despite their reputations, rats are actually very neat. They spend several hours a day cleaning themselves, and cleaning others is a social bonding experience. They are named after Emmanuel Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna. These are the first two women to share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2020), awarding their work on the technology of genome editing.
Alexander the Rose Hair Tarantula
Lauren the Florida Bark Scorpion
Alex is a Rose Hair Tarantula. Rose Hairs are nomadic, meaning they spend their life moving all the time in search of food or a mate. They live mostly solitary lives and are mostly blind. They are native to South America. He is named after Baron Alexander Von Humboldt — a Prussian biologist. Humboldt and an associate traveled extensively to South America and explored its large variety of animal and plant species. They soon discovered the first animal that produced electricity--the electric eel.
Lauren is a Florida Bark Scorpion. They are native to the Tropics and live under rocks and tree bark, commonly feeding on insects like roaches. Females give birth to a litter of 25-35 young. They are venomous, but much less toxic than others of its genus. Whilst the venom of most scorpions is only powerful enough to kill small creatures, there are around 30-40 species with a sting strong enough to kill a human. Lauren is named after Lauren Esposito, one of the world's only women scorpion experts. Her current research considers the evolution of scorpion venom.
Lovelace the Amelanistic Red Rat Snake
Lovelace is an Amelanistic Red Rat Snake. They are a non-venomous constrictor species native to the southeastern and central United States. He is named after Ada Lovelace — a writer and mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine (the first computer prototype). She is credited with being the first female computer programmer.
Avogadro is a Ball Python. They are a non-venomous constrictor species that is native to West Africa. Ball pythons are named after their natural defensive behaviors. They tend to curl up into a ball when threatened. They are also called the “royal python” because ancient royalty wore them as jewelry. He is named after Amedeo Avogadro — an Italian physicist most known for his work in molecular theory.
Babbage the Creamsicle Corn Snake
Babbage is a Creamsicle Corn Snake. Corn snakes are a species of Rat Snake. Creamsicles are a hybrid of an albino corn and an Emory's Rat snake. He is named after Charles Babbage — an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer. He is most famous for his creation of the programmable computer and his Difference Engine. He worked closely with Ada Lovelace to program his Analytical Engine, the successor to the Difference Engine.
Sebastian the African Spurred Tortoise
Sebastian is an African Spurred Tortoise. These are the largest mainland species of tortoise. They can weigh up to 200 pounds and live for more than 70 years. African Spurred Tortoises are native to the Sahara Desert and can even live for weeks without water. He is named after Johann Sebastian Bach, a German composer and musician generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Western art musical canon. Follow Sebastian in action on his Facebook and Instagram! @sebastianthetortoise
the Bearded Dragon
Nye is a Pogona, a.k.a a Bearded Dragon. They are a small species of lizards native to the desert and shrub-lands of Australia. She is named after Bill Nye — a famous educator and television presenter who used his background in science and education to bring fun experiments and science facts to viewers all across the world.
Bindi the Bearded Dragon
Bindi is a Pogona, a.k.a a Bearded Dragon. They are a small species of lizards native to the desert and shrub-lands of Australia. She is named after Bindi Irwin—an Australian actress, television personality, and conservationist.
Tully is a Red-Eared Slider. The are an amphibious species of turtle, meaning they like to spend time in the water and on the land. This species is invasive in Florida. He is named after Tullimonstrum, or the “Tully Monster” — a fossil of a soft bodied vertebrate that lived over 300 million years ago.
Luis & Walter the Leopard Geckos
Luis and Walter are Leopard Geckos. They are crepuscular (active during twilight hours), ground dwelling lizards native to desert areas of Asia. They were named after Luis and Walter Alvarez — a father and son team of scientists who posited that the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a large asteroid.
Sammi is Box Turtle. They are a ground-dwelling turtle but enjoy taking dips in the pond. This species of turtle is native to Florida. She is named after Samantha Cristoforetti—an Italian European Space Agency Astronaut.
Lucy the Red Tailed Boa
Lucy is a Red Tailed Boa, with a lifespan in captivity of 20 years or more. They can grow to about 6-12 feet long. She is named after the common name of AL 288-1, or Lucy, a collection of several hundred pieces of bone fossils representing 40% of the skeleton of a female of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis.
Scooter the Florida River Cooter
Scooter is a Florida River Cooter, a species of turtles native to Central and Eastern United States. River Cooters can live up to 40 years and are usually about 12" in diameter. He is named after Scooter, a small irregular white cloud that spins around Neptune about every 16 hours. This cloud was discovered by the Voyager in 1989.
Claire the Fancy Leopard Gecko
Claire is a Fancy Leopard Gecko. This is a subspecies of the Leopard Gecko with lighter coloring. Like other Leopard Geckos, the Fancy variety also have claws instead of sticky pads like other geckos. Claire is named after Claire is named after Mary-Claire King, an American geneticist that discovered the BRCA1 gene that is responsible for many breast and ovarian cancers
Alphone the Crested Gecko
Alphone is a Crested Gecko. This species was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in 1994. They are the largest Gecko species, ranging from 6-10 inches in length. Their distinct hair-like projections ("eyelashes") above their eyes are their most distinguishing features. Alphone is named after Alphone Guichenot, a French zoologist who is credited with discovering this species of Gecko in 1866.
Leonardo the False Map Turtle
Leonardo is a False Map Turtle, also commonly referred to as a Sawback Turtle. They love deep water and can be found in regions across the Southern US. He is named after Leonardo da Vinci, painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer and draftsman. His ideas and body of work have influenced countless artists and made da Vinci a leading light of the Italian Renaissance.
Edwin the Leopard Gecko
Edwin is a Leopard Gecko. Leopard geckos can see better than other gecko species. Their vision is comparable to that of a cat. Edwin is named after Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer. He played a crucial role in establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology and is regarded as one of the most important astronomers of all time.
Katie & Katherine the Harlequin Crested Geckos
Katie and Katherine are Harlequin Crested Geckos. They live for up to 20 years and love climbing vertical surfaces. These nocturnal creatures don't have eyelids, so they use their tongues to moisten their eyes. Katie is named after Katie Bouman, American computer scientist and member of the Event Horizon team that captured the first photo of a black hole. Katherine is named for Katherine Johnson, American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. manned spaceflights.
Fang the Bearded Dragon
Fang is a Bearded Dragon. Natural habitats of bearded dragons include deserts, arid and rocky areas, dry forests and scrublands. They are able to regulate their body temperature by changing the shades of the color of the skin to light to dark. Fang is named after Fang Haung, a geochemist that wants to understand how the Earth works and improve our environment using the knowledge of geochemistry.
Newton the Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons have triangular shaped heads and flattened bodies. They are excellent climbers and prefer to be in bushes, on branches, and basking (sunbathing). Newton is named after Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727), an English physicist and mathematician known for his role in the Scientific Revolution. Newton came up with his laws of motion that cover topics of inertia and gravity.
Kizzy is a Yellow Belly Ball Python. Many have yellowish tints to their undersides, unmarked belly scales, and a tight border of speckled patterns where their belly scales meet their sides. They are typically 3-5 feet long, and they are very docile. Kizzy is named after Kizzmekia Corbett (1986-), an American viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. She is a scientist at the forefront of the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.