Museum of Science To Present New Exhibit: Geckos: Tails To Toepads Opening January 22

January 25, 2012

BOSTON, January 20, 2012—This winter, the Museum of Science will present Geckos: Tails to Toepads, a new, temporary exhibit 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.

On Sunday, January 22, the Museum of Science will open Geckos: Tails to Toepads, the country's largest and most advanced exhibition of geckos, 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.

Geckos: Tails to Toepads will be presented at the Museum of Science from January 22 through May 6, 2012. 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

About the Museum of Science

One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum's "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy®'s engineering curricula have reached 35,500 teachers and close to 3 million students nationwide. The Museum has also: been recognized by Boston and Cambridge for its energy and sustainability efforts; named an Employer of Choice by Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts disability employment initiative; is Yankee Magazine's "Best of New England Readers' Choice" for Cultural Attraction in Science; and is El Planeta's Best Tourist Attraction for the Massachusetts Latino population. Visit http://www.mos.org. Follow the Museum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/museumofscience or Twitter at @museumofscience.

Press Contacts

Lauren Crowne, Senior Publicist: 617-589-0250 lcrowne@mos.org