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Venom, Scales, and Sticky Toes: Adaptations of Amphibians & Reptiles in AZ

January 12, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Sure, you know about rattlesnakes, but do you know about hallucinogenic toads, all-female populations of lizards, absorbing tails, cannibalistic tadpoles, or salamanders that breed as juveniles? Amphibians and reptiles in the Southwest have an incredible array of adaptations that allow them to exploit many available habitats. Learn what’s so special about reptiles and amphibians in the first place, and why conditions in Arizona have allowed them to diversify in so many marvelous ways.

Want a sneak preview of some of the creatures you might learn about at the talk? Jessie has videos about Canyon Tree FrogsSonoran Desert ToadsArizona Tiger Salamanders, and Horned Lizards all available on YouTube!

Dr. Jessie Rack is an ecologist, naturalist, and environmental educator passionate about communicating how the world works. Jessie has a PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut (for which she studied salamanders!) and diverse experiences in both formal and informal education. She taught writing at Princeton University, wrote for the NPR ScienceDesk, and often moonlights as the world’s oldest camp counselor. Jessie is also a AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, one of 125 women in STEM fields chosen to be a science role model to middle school girls (Check out her CBS Mission Unstoppable Episode!) Currently, she is the Program Director at the Natural History Institute. Her favorite herps are salamanders and horned lizards, both of whom are prominently featured in this talk.

Doors open at 6:30pm.

Register Here

*The event is free but space is limited and registration is required to attend. Masks are encouraged in the building. The talk will be live-streamed to our YouTube channel for those unable to attend in person.


Natural History Institute


Natural History Institute
126 N Marina St
Prescott, AZ 86301
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