Scholastic and AMNH present Scicence Explorations Uncover Lizrards and Snakes: Learn the Story of Squamates
Exploration Exchange
Backyard Science
Putting It Together
Backyard Science

Create Your Own Exhibit
What are some of your own personal collections? Maybe you collect dolls, baseball cards, bugs, letters, trophies, or even photos from magazines. Think of these items as a collection and curate your own exhibit. Before you begin, think of the different connections between these items and the story you want to tell. Choose the things you want to include and arrange them into an exhibit. How can you organize the items to best tell your story? Chronologically? By sport or theme? Finally, create an illustrated pamphlet that describes and attracts people to your exhibit.

Find the Hidden Squamate
Many snakes and lizards use camouflage, or coloring and patterns, that help them blend in with their natural environment. This helps them hide from both predators and prey. Whether they’re tan like rocks, splotchy and brown like tree bark, or bright green like leaves, these squamates can almost disappear into their surroundings. Research a squamate and its habitat, then create a mural showing the squamate hidden in its habitat.

Squamate Charades
In tonight’s performance, you'll be playing a chameleon! Explore the snakes and lizards on this site with friends or family members, then challenge them to a game of squamate charades. Choose a squamate and think about the way it eats, moves, and defends itself. Try acting out a chameleon catching prey with its tongue, a gecko climbing the wall, or a boa squeezing its prey. Can your friends and family figure out which squamate you are?

Slithering Squamates
Can you slither like a snake? Learn more about the different ways that snakes and other limbless squamates move — like serpentine movement (or lateral undulation), sidewinding, rectilinear motion (in a straight line), and concertina movement (bunching up then extending the body forward). Then try it out for yourself. Get down on your belly and see if you can mimic these amazing movers.

SOS: Save Our Squamates
Worldwide, there are more than 250 species of snakes and lizards that are threatened, endangered, or of special concern. Choose one from a Web site like this one: or from other research materials, and create a poster about the animal that explains where it lives, why it’s threatened, and what can be done to help.

Go on a Herp Hunt
Imagine you’re a herpetologist, a scientist who studies squamates and other related animal groups. Your challenge is to observe examples of these animals in their habitat. First, find a local field guide and discover what species of squamates live in your area. Then explore a local park, lake, or trail and see which specimens you can find. Take a notebook with you to sketch pictures and write down interesting facts about the animals you observe. Use your field guide and see if you can identify the different species. Be sure to obey local and federal laws.