Fall 2009: Reptile Show and Exhibit

Fall 2009: Reptile Show and Exhibit


All Day

Event Type

Presented by Marla Isaac
Director, New England Reptile and Raptor Exhibits

Marla Isaac presented a lecture and live reptile exhibit. Ms. Isaac brought live animals to exhibit and “pet”, as well as bones for viewing. “Attendees” included an alligator snapping turtle, a common snapping turtle, an alligator, a tortoise, and a box turtle. Topics covered included natural history, adaptation, habitat destruction, poaching, species exploitation and management of reptiles in their native habitat and in captivity.

Ms. Isaac has been presenting wildlife shows and exhibits for over 30 years. Her experience includes handling, caring for and propagation of snakes, including the venomous rattlesnake, genus Crotalus. Ms. Isaac maintains a diverse collection of snakes, tortoises, turtles, lizards and crocodilians for research and educational programs. Marla Isaac’s overriding interest is in the natural history and preservation of reptiles in the wild. Her programs are intended to promote greater public understanding, respect and “affection” for reptiles in their native habitat.

Reptiles are one of the most misunderstood and feared groups in the animal kingdom. They are subject and victim of numerous tales, fables, myths, and movies. Bounty hunting of snakes in the past have led to their decline in the wild. Amphibians and reptiles, like other wildlife, have also suffered from habitat destruction, as well as from poisoning by pesticides and other pollutants. Commercial collectors have contributed to population decline by harvesting wholesale numbers of reptiles to feed the market of pet stores and customers.

Reptiles evolved from amphibian stock more than 315 millions years ago during the early Upper Carboniferous Period. Modern reptiles can be traced back to the Permian Era, 280 million years ago. Over 200 species and subspecies of reptiles are found in eastern and central North America, comprising 3 species of crocodilians, 53 species of turtles and tortoises, 96 species of lizards, and over 100 species of snakes.