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!

 
Birds
Cici
Cici
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
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 and Fenner
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. 

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Simon the Nanday Conure

Simon is a Nanday Conure, also known as the black-hooded parakeet, native to South America. Its most distinguishing characteristic, for which it is named, is its black facial mask and beak. A conure has a few distinct sounds that are very loud; their call can be carried for miles. Simon is named after Simon Boyes, a British ornithologist and tour guide, with over 30 years experience of leading groups to watch wildlife and identify birds on every continent.

 
Rubin
 Rubin the 
African Pygmy Hedgehog
Mammals
Lawrence
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.

Crick
Crick the Degu

Crick is a degu. These social creatures similar to Chinchillas are about five to seven inches long and come from Chile. They can live from 10-20 years, and they are very vocal, making chattering, squeaking and chuckling noises. Crick is named after Francis Crick who, along with James Watson. 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.

Sam and Dean
Sam & Dean the Degus

Sam and Dean are our other degus. They are diurnal, which means they are awake during the day and sleep at night, just like us. They are also highly social animals. Sam is named after the IBM AI bot, Sam (left), a custom data platform aimed at reducing ocean pollution. Dean is named after Dean Kamen (right), founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nationwide robotics program for ages 4-18.

Pierre and Becq
Pierre & Becq the Sugar Gliders

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. Pierre is named after Marie Curie's husband, Pierre Curie, both 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.

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Ella the African Pygmy Hedgehog

Ella is a hedgehog. They have spines, also called quills, that cover their back and sides. If they are scared or feel threatened they will raise those spines to look larger and tuck their head and feet to roll up in a ball. Ella is named after Ruth Ella Moore (1903-1994). Ruth was a bacteriologist and microbiologist, who in 1933, became the first African-American woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in a natural science.

Templeton
Templeton the Fancy Rat

Templeton is a Fancy Rat, 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. He is named after John Templeton, an American-born British investor and philanthropist. The Templeton Prize is an annual award granted to a living person, in the estimation of the judges, whose exemplary achievements advance Sir Templeton's vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.

Rufus and Nobel
Rufus & Nobel the Hairless Rats

Rufus and Nobel are hairless rats. Aside from their unusual coat, these rats tend to be a bit smaller than fancy rats. They are highly intelligent creatures who can be very affectionate with people. They also do best with another rat companion, and hairless rats often appreciate being paired with other rats that they can cuddle with for warmth. Rufus is named after Rufus Porter, who was an American painter, inventor, and founder of Scientific American magazine. Nobel is named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best known for having bequeathed his fortune to establish the Nobel Prize.

 
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May and Moser the Fancy Rats
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Penrose, Ghez, and Genzel the Guinea Pigs

May and Moser are fancy rats. Rats have an incredibly strong sense of smell, so much so that they have been used to detect landmines and diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis. Rats also have great memories and can memorize a route after learning to navigate it just once! They are named after May-Britt Moser (pictured right) and Edvard Moser (pictured left), Norwegian psychologists and neuroscientists. In 2014, along with John O'Keefe, they won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain (essentially, our internal GPS!).

Penrose, Ghez, and Genzel are guinea pigs. They scent mark by rubbing their chin or cheek across things which helps keep their home smelling familiar and reassuring. They are named after 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics winners, Roger Penrose (pictured left), Andrea Ghez (center), and Reinhard Genzel (right). Penrose was awarded half for showing how black holes could form and the other half was awarded to Genzel and Ghez for discovering a supermassive object at the Milky Way's center. Ghez is only the fourth woman to be awarded a Nobel in Physics ever.

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Felix the African Pygmy Hedgehog

Felix is an African pygmy hedgehog, one of 15 different species of hedgehog in the world. They hunt primarily using they hearing and smell because their eyesight is not very good, although they can see quite well in the dark.He is named after Felix Baumgartner (1969-), an Austrian skydiver and base jumper. He is best known for jumping to Earth from a helium balloon from the stratosphere in 2012 as part of the Red Bull Stratos project. He landed in eastern New Mexico after jumping from a then world-record: 38,969.3 metres (127,852 feet), falling a record distance of 36,402.6 metres (119,431 feet) and parachuting the final 2,566.7 metres (8,421 feet).

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Sophie the African Pygmy Hedgehog

Sophie is an African pygmy hedgehog. Hedgehogs have around 5000 to 7000 spines on their back. These can be raised and lowered to respond to threatening situations. Each quill/spine lasts about a year before dropping out and being replaced. As nocturnal creatures, when they are out to forage in the evening, they can travel for up to 2 miles, an incredibly a long way for little legs! Sophie is named for Sophie Lund Rasmussen, a specialist researching European hedgehogs. She is currently running the research project called "The Danish Hedgehog Project, " and her work has earned her the moniker "Dr. Hedgehog."

Arachnids
 
Alex
Alexander the Rose Hair Tarantula

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
Lauren the Florida Bark Scorpion

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.

Reptiles
Lovelace
Lovelace the Amelanistic Red Rat Snake
 
Avogadro
Avogadro
the Ball
Python

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
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
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

Nye
Nye
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.

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Walter the Leopard Gecko

Walter is a Leopard Gecko. They are crepuscular (active during twilight hours), ground-dwelling lizards native to desert areas of Asia. Leopard geckos cannot climb up smooth surfaces because they do not have toe pads like most geckos. He is named after Walter Alvarez — a scientist who posited that the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a large asteroid.

Bindi
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
Tully the
Red-Eared Slider

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.

Sammi
Sammi
the
Box Turtle

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
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
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.

Fang
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. 

Kizzy
Kizzy
the
Ball Python

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.

Leonardo
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
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 and Katherine
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.

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Brian the
Day Gecko

Brian is a day gecko. These geckos are native to Eastern Madagascar. They are the largest of the gecko species and can grow up to a foot long. At the end of each of their toes is an adhesive scale known as the lamellae, used to cling on to smooth surfaces. Because of the incredible grip strength of the lamellae, each foot is capable of supporting up to 40kg (88lbs) of weight. Brian is named after Brian Cox (1968-), an English physicist and former musician who serves as professor of particle physics at University of Manchester.

Newton
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.

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Ayana the Savannah Monitor

Ayana is a savannah monitor, a species native to Africa south of the Sahara Desert. They have a bright blue forked tongue that can be used to "taste" the air and are carnivores that eat a wide variety of animals. She is named for Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (1980-), a marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist. She is the founder and president of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm that helps find ocean conservation solutions grounded in soical justice.

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Beau the Banana Spider Morph Ball Python

Beau is a banana spider morph ball python, a type of ball python morph that is famous for its strong yellow colored blotches and dark freckles. Banana snakes are selectively bred from the West African ball python species to produce a beautiful yellow and tan patterning. The banana morph originated naturally in the wild – but is very rare. Beau is named for Joan Beauchamp Procter (1897-1931), a British zoologist and herpetologist. She was the first female Curator of Reptiles at the London Zoo, and made significant innovative contributions to veterinary practice and zoo displays.