A Review of Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly

By Jessica Lopa of Mommy University

We LOVE the Academy of Natural Sciences. It offers amazing permanent exhibits, exciting shows and ongoing family fun events. What we also love are their rotating (temporary) exhibits. We had a blast at Chocolate the Exhibition and Animal Grossology, and now we had the pleasure of exploring the newest exhibit, Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly!

If you love snakes, lizards and turtles, then this is the exhibit for you. From the moment you enter, you will be in awe of the reptiles housed throughout this exhibit. Individuals of all ages will love walking around and exploring the fascinating world or reptiles. The exhibit is open now through January 10, 2016 and costs an additional $5 to enter ($3 for members and Free for Family Plus members).


We visited the Reptiles Exhibit during their opening weekend. It was a fun and educational experience, and we cannot wait to return to explore it again. During our visit, we walked through the exhibit, stopped and examined objects at the reptile cart and tables and enjoyed a live animal show. It was an amazing learning experience for the entire family!

5 Reasons to Visit the Reptiles Exhibit


Did you know that snakes eat some of the most dangerous animals on Earth? Did you know that some snakes can SEE heat? Did you know that the Gaboon Viper has the longest fangs of any snake?

These are just a few of the interesting facts you will learn while exploring the Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly Exhibit. Not only will you learn specific facts about each reptile housed at the exhibit, you will also learn interesting facts about reptiles in general. We learned the difference between a crocodile and an alligator, how many vertebrae a snake has, all about snake venom and much more! On the carts, we were able to touch and feel snake skin and turtle shells as well as examine a rattlesnake’s rattle. This exhibit is not only perfect for families, it also makes for an ideal class trip!


Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff

While walking around, we met some of the friendliest staff members and volunteers. They answered all of our questions, and that’s a lot when you’re talking about a 6-year old! The volunteer even walked with us through the exhibit to describe each snake and explain what venom is and how it works. He was very knowledgable and helpful. We also really enjoyed interacting with the women that ran the reptile cart and tables found throughout the museum. We learned all about the feel and texture of reptile skin and shells as well as what reptiles were local inhabitants.


Engages All the Senses

The Reptiles Exhibit, like all exhibits at the Academy of Natural Sciences, is a true multi-sensory experience. Visitors will see reptiles and read signs all about them. They can hear what crocodiles sound like in different situations at the Croc Talk stand. Throughout the exhibit, there are also places where you touch and move reptile parts such as shells of turtles and the jaws of alligators and crocodiles. The cart allowed my kids to really feel the skin of a snake, alligator and turtle which was fascinating. We all know kids learn best by engaging all their senses, and that is truly the emphasis of this exhibit!

Hands-On Activities

There are so many fun hands-on activities at the Reptiles Exhibit and throughout the museum. There are trivia questions that can be answered by lifting boards or pushing buttons that light up the answers. Kids can also push a button to open and close the mouth of a snake as well as find out how venom comes out of a snake’s fang. The carts provide hands-on fun by allowing kids to touch and feel real reptile skin as well as examine things like claws and the rattlesnake’s rattle.

All the Reptiles (of course)

What would a Reptile Exhibit be without actual reptiles? This exhibit definitely does not disappoint with regard to the variety of reptiles that can be seen while walking around. From the moment we entered, my kids were in awe of the turtles especially the very large snapping turtle. When we turned the corner, my son was amazed when he saw a real crocodile. We loved all the lizards and their amazing colors. We especially loved learning about the unique frilled-leaf tall gecko, rhinoceros iguana and gila monster. Lastly, we enjoyed looking at all the different kinds of snakes. From milk snakes to the gaboon viper to the reticulated python, there was something for everyone to learn about.


As you can see, there are so many reasons to visit the Academy of Natural Science’s Reptiles Exhibit. I know you will have as much fun as we had!


This article originally was published by the blog Mommy University along with this note: “We are so unbelievably excited and honored to partner with the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Mommy University was provided a membership in exchange for sharing with our readers all the amazing Academy adventures for the entire year including brain boosting exhibits, events and programs. I hope you will follow us along this incredible journey!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *