The museum's February program for children and families explored snakes of the past and present.
The event was led by Jason Head, State Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and assistant professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, and Dennis Ferraro, Herpetology professor in the UNL School of Natural Resources and Extension Educator with UNL’s Southeast Research Extension Center.
Head presented information about fossil snakes and their relationship to climate change. He also spoke about the discovery of the 60 million year old Titanoboacerrejonensis, the world’s largest snake.
Ferraro showed visitors various live snakes of Nebraska. There were also two 13-foot, 100 lb. Albino Burmese Pythons on display. Visitors learned about these slithering specimens and the importance of their conservation.
Jason Head is a vertebrate paleontologist who specializes in the evolution of reptiles and their relationship to climate change. He has conducted paleontological fieldwork in Colombia, Uruguay, Pakistan, India, Tanzania, Mali, Jordan, and throughout North America. More about Head’s research »
Dennis Ferraro is originally from Connecticut, and grew up fascinated with the creatures in and around ponds near his home. By the time he was in third grade, he knew what a herpetologist was, and that he wanted to be one. "My mother started out being afraid of snakes, but after so many got loose in the house she had to learn to live with it," he recalled. "My husbandry technique was not as refined as it is now. Now nothing gets out." More about Ferraro’s research »