If you can't jet out of Boston to a tropical getaway this winter, Geckos: Tails to Toepads might just put you in a warm weather mindset. The new show at the Museum of Science opens January 22, bringing in lots of lizards, along with photographs and interactive exhibits to teach visitors about all aspects of geckos.
The traveling show explores the lizards, which live in climates that range from tropical beaches to deserts to snowy mountains. Peer into geckos' habitats by looking at the species on display amidst waterfalls, lush foliage, and rock ledges. These spaces mimic their natural habitats by controlling humidity, temperature, and water quality.
Geckos on view include the Giant Day Gecko, which is bright green and our common perception of what a gecko looks like (think the Geico ads). Less common species include the Giant Frog Eyed Gecko, which has scales that overlap each other like roof shingles; the Gliding Gecko, which can leap between trees because its skin unfolds like a parachute and has adhesive toepads to stick to bark; and Jewel Day Geckos, which are tiny and are found in bright neon colors and have patterned bodies.
Bring the kids along, since the show has plenty of activities to keep little ones busy. Look at insects in the dark with night vision optics to see things like a gecko would, listen to recordings of different sounds that geckos make (these guys are loud!), and try to spot geckos as they hide from predators. Other activities include learning about scientists' hunt to find new species, gecko breeding, and the science behind geckos' sticky feet.
You'll leave with an arsenal of knowledge about geckos, including these fun facts: there are already more than 1,100 gecko species across the globe and new ones are being discovered each year, the lizards don't have moveable eyelids, and their feet are sticky even underwater.
For more information, visit mos.org.
Hours: Sat to Thurs 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Fri 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Admission for Exhibit Halls, Adult $22; Seniors $20; Child $19
for more features.