Museum of Science, Boston opens Geckos. Tails to Toepads exhibition

The Museum of Science present Geckos: Tails to Toepads, a new, temporary exhibit, on view from January 22 through May 6, 2012, that will provide visitors with an opportunity to take on the role of biologist and meet more than 60 living, exotic geckos face-to-face.

Giant day gecko Photo by Bill Love National Geographic Museum

Created by Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, and sponsored locally by Jabberwock Reptiles. Geckos is a traveling exhibition that introduces visitors to the remarkable diversity of these lizards with bold backlighted graphics, engaging interactives, and living examples from around the world. Lush, naturalistic habitats anchor the exhibition and draw audiences into the geckos’ realm. Visitors can experience gecko night vision, listen to gecko voices, learn unusual facts from gecko experts, try to spot camouflaged geckos, and build a custom gecko for various environments. The exhibition also presents cutting edge science, from the race to catalog and classify gecko diversity to unraveling the mysteries of gecko adhesion.

“We are excited to introduce our visitors to the fascinating world of geckos,” said Paul Fontaine, Museum of Science vice president of education. “The exhibit allows visitors to take on the role of biologist and observe these intriguing creatures in naturalistic habitats. By immersing themselves in the geckos’ world, visitors will enjoy a unique educational experience that includes night vision, sticky toepads, and even disposable body parts, as they study these charming creatures.”

Included with Exhibit Halls admission, the exhibit explores all aspects of geckos: biology, natural history, their role in human cultures, their importance to ecosystems, and the potential they hold for bio-technology. Exhibit highlights include:

> Come face-to-face with more than 60 live geckos, including the Giant Day Gecko. This is what most people think of when they hear the word ‘gecko.’ GEICO’s famous spokescreature is modeled after the giant day gecko. This striking lizard sports emerald green skin with crimson red highlights, and scampers boldly about in daylight, eating nectar and fruit.

> Crested Gecko: Species all over the world are going extinct—this is one of the few that came back! Crested geckos were thought to be extinct for over one hundred years and were re-discovered in the wild in 1994. These colorful geckos are now known to be common on the islands of New Caledonia.

> Tokay Gecko: Not all geckos are small and shy—this one is big and ferocious! When fighting with other geckos or attacking an intruder, the Tokay gecko emits a startling cry that sounds like its name (toe-kay). If that isn’t enough, the gecko will chase the enemy and deliver a surprisingly painful bite.

Geck-Nology: The Secrets of Gecko Adhesion: A short theater program explores the cutting-edge science of gecko adhesion and how it may revolutionize the future of adhesive technology.

What Does a Gecko See? Visitors can take on the role of the gecko and look at insects in the dark with night vision optics.

The exhibit is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission: $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (60+), and $19 for children (3-11). For more information, the public can call 617/723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417, or visit mos.org

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