Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team

Glen Urquhart School - Snakes of New England and the World Presentation 4-20-2017


Today we did a Snakes of New England and the World Presentation for about 70 kids at Glen Urquhart School (GUS) in Beverly Farms. The show was spectacular thanks to Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team volunteers Wilhelmina (GUS student), Victoria, Verdun, Christine, Mark, and Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team founder and presenter Rick Roth. What a beautiful day in the greenhouse - it must have been about 75 degrees inside, and a great place to hold a snake show. There was something special about being surrounded with natural light and looking at all those different and beautiful snakes.

We were fortunate to see the fourteen snakes endemic to New England and then we moved around the world viewing about fifteen other families of Serpentes. The hands went up when Rick asked them questions about the snakes. One sweet thing raised her hand when asked how she knew the difference between the Garter snake and the Ribbon snake - and said, well, I saw this show before. Its still amazing she remembered the name of the Ribbon snake.

Although the snakes were stunning and we learned a lot about their habits and habitats, the children were just as fascinating to watch. In attendance were first graders, third graders, a camp group of varying ages, parents, teachers, and administrators.  The children were so incredibly excited they kept migrating out of their seats. Most the children wanted to touch, and got to touch, every snake that was brought around the room.  You can't help notice four emotions that most children who are new to snakes exhibit...exhilaration, joy, bravery, and fear. They feel them all at the same time and they can't really speak or move when they are holding the snake. They just bond with the snake and are completely lost in the moment. It's incredible to be a part of it.

Rick Roth from the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team presenting Snakes of New England and the World at GUS.


Rick with a Eastern garter snake and a Ribbon snake - they are very similar looking but quite different in habits and habitat.


Let the show begin...
and pretty soon everyone is getting excited... and pretty soon everyone is on the edge of their seats...
and pretty soon everyone is touching the snakes... and pretty soon everyone is standing and holding all the beautiful snakes...  












Posing with Rick... and Maxine the Boa constrictor...

These girls definitely RULE!



In blue is avid Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team volunteer and lover of all things snake - Wilhelmina. Below left, Skeletor the White-lipped python is checking out the crowd.






Our volunteer, Christine, with her own first and third grade children. She is looking very photogenic with Maxine the twenty pound wrap.

Maxine the Boa is to the left...


Below left is Violet... the ginormous
and lovely yellow albino reticulated python.



The Green vine snake was especially striking today due to the vivid color, arrow-shaped head, and slender vine-like appearance. Its endemic to Central America and northern South America. It hunts from high in the trees thus plucking the prey from the ground. This method of hunting eliminates the opportunity for its prey to leverage its size on the ground. Unlike many other snakes, the pointed head and indentation from eye to nose allows this snake to see on the sides and in front. Most snakes have oblong heads and eye positioning that will only allow them to see out the sides. Another interesting thing to note is when the Green vine snake uses its tongue, it moves it up and down and its surmised the tongue is used for sight in the same way a cat uses its whiskers. Just fascinating.


Our Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team volunteer and GUS parent Verdun... showing model how to put on a neck tie - on right.


















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