Photo: FMN Barbara Saffir
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Smithsonian Associates Streaming Program
Cost: Members $25; nonmembers $30
Join naturalist and salamander enthusiast Matt Felperin, Roving Naturalist with NOVA Parks, for an introduction to the fascinating world of herpetofauna, or “herps.” Otherwise known as reptiles and amphibians, these largely misunderstood animals are admittedly not among the cutest of creatures, and some people just can’t stand looking at a snake.
But on closer examination, says Felperin, you might discover how fascinating (and even adorable) these animals can be. From frogs and salamanders to snakes, lizards, and turtles, discover what kind of cold-blooded critters can be found in the eastern United States. For example, did you know that the mid-Atlantic region hosts the greatest diversity of salamander species in the world? They include the endangered Shenandoah salamander, whose entire range is limited to three mountain slopes within Shenandoah National Park.
Felperin also uncovers some pretty amazing adaptations, such as wood frogs that become “frogcicles” and turtles that breathe out of their backside to survive the winter. And, he says, you may just find a new favorite animal.