Fernbank Museum, aÂ local natural history museum, opened in Atlanta in 1992. Its predecessor, theÂ Fernbank science center, opened in 1967 and remains open today. Â I have vivid memories of visiting the science center as a school kid. They both grew out of an effort that began in 1938 to preserve what had become known as Fernbank forest, 65 acres of old-growth urban Piedmont forest.
I had been wanting to check out a special gecko exhibition at the museum. When I saw yesterday would be Reptile day, I knew it was time to visit. As a bonus, I saw online that there would also be a special exhibition of nature photography by local photographer Bill Harbin.
Reptile Day offers visitors the opportunity to see and interact with snakes, lizards, turtles and other reptiles. There are both local and exotic specimens on display. Volunteers answer questions and allow visitors to touch some of the harmless ones. The rest are safely caged. This all takes place in the main hall of the museum.
After getting a chance to see all that was offered as part of “Reptile day”, I moved on to the gecko exhibition.
The exhibition was even better than I imagined. There were many interesting species on display. Each habitat helpfully indicated how many geckos were inside. I challenged myself to find all of them. In the end, out of 75 or so, I found all but one gecko.
I particularly liked these large displays showing the diversity of gecko forms.
Because I’m often pressed for time, I usually skip reading the accompanying displays. Today I had time so I read every single one. Some stuff I already knew, but I also learned some interesting tidbits. I didn’t realize, for example, that geckos with round pupils are diurnal and those with vertical pupils are nocturnal.
I apologize for the poor photos. These are snapshots from my point-and-shoot. I checked the museum policy on photography. Personal use is permitted, so I should be able to share these photos here on my blog.
Lastly, check out this topiary from the museum garden.