By CLARK MOORMAN/Montana State News
Lizards might be the last thing on most Bozemanites minds this time of year, but a new exhibit set to open soon at the Museum of the Rockies might just change that. On Feb. 22, Bozeman’s natural history museum will open its new traveling exhibit, entitled “Geckos: From Tails to Toepads”.
The exhibit, curated by Clide Peeling’s Reptiland in Allenwood, Pa. will feature 14 different species of live geckos and an expert care taker who will be present to feed the lizards and answer any questions curious visitors may have.
Angie Weikert, the Museum’s education and public programs director, said the museum chose to feature geckos to provide locals with an experience they might otherwise never have, as geckos are not found in Montana. “At the Museum of the Rockies, we have an unofficial motto: ‘Bring the world to Montana, and bring Montana to the world.’”
Weikert also stated the importance of educating and inspiring children as a motive behind choosing the exhibit. “When kids see the dinosaurs we have here, it might inspire them to eventually pursue an education or career in STEM fields [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics]. Bringing in geckos creates an avenue for STEM learning that we don’t already have here at the museum.”
According to the museum’s assistant director of exhibits, Dave Kinsey, the previous two exhibits the museum displayed from this company, frogs and reptiles, were both big hits with the public. “The last ones knocked your socks off. This one should be very cool as well.”
“Geckos: From Tails to Toepads” will be on display at the Museum of the Rockies from Feb. 22-Sept. 8. Admission is $10 for MSU students and $14 for adults.