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Animal Spotlight: Watson and Crick

Watson and Crick, our Degus, are one of the many mammals we have at the center. Watson and Crick are named after Francis Crick and James Watson, 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.

Degus are social creatures similar to chinchillas. Unlike other small mammals, common degus are diurnal (active during the day). They have good vision, including peak sensitivity in the green and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. They are highly susceptible to developing diabetes mellitus, so they should be on a diet free of sugars and sweets.

Our degus have brown, black, and white colored fur mixed together along their body. They have tails similar to chinchillas, and the fur on them can fall off if pulled too hard. Their tail is very important, because they use their tails for balance and as an aid in communicating to other degus. They are very social, and usually are in groups of 100 or more.

Watson and Crick are one of the many animals we take out for our Creature Features (2pm, Mon-Fri) to teach kids and their parents more about them. From snakes to sugar gliders, we have a variety of animals that we can bring awareness to. Come see them and learn even more about their species!

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