The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History will host the upcoming exhibition Lizards: Nature’s Living Art, on display from July 9 through October 24.
This exhibition will open on Thursday, July 9, at 6pm, with a free public lecture, Herpetology as Life: Major Influences and Giving Back by Dr. Toby Hibbitts, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles at the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, Texas A&M University. Light refreshments and a gallery viewing will be available following the lecture. Dr. Hibbitts will also be conducting a book signing of Texas Lizards: A Field Guide, a collaborative effort by Dr. Hibbits and his brother, Troy.
In his lecture, Dr. Hibbitts will discuss how he came to study reptiles and amphibians as well as the importance of conservation in the field. He will also feature information about lizards, and touch on the life and work of Dr. James R. Dixon, an important contributor in the field, and a local former professor and curator of herpetology at Texas A&M for more than 40 years.
Dr. Hibbitts, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles, is a Research Scientist for the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources at Texas A&M. He received his BS from Midwestern State University (1994), his MS from Texas A&M (2000), and PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand (2006). He was raised in a family of herpetologists and has always had a love for herpetology. He has traveled widely, studying amphibians and reptiles, but returned to Texas for his first full time position. His research focuses mainly on conservation of species of special concern in Texas, which currently include: the Crawfish Frog, Reticulate Collared Lizard, Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Spot-tailed Earless Lizard Louisiana Pine Snake.
Developed in cooperation with the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives and the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, the exhibit offers perspectives on lizards, their habitat, behavior and conservation concerns along with fascinating information about the scientists who study them.
Visitors can see live lizards up close in living displays, lizard models (including a life-sized 5.5’ Komodo Dragon), and examples of the types of scientific equipment associated with the field and laboratory-based study of reptiles. The display also features artistic and symbolic use of lizards in Native American and other aboriginal cultures alongside the more technical interpretations offered by scientific illustrations. This is also a unique opportunity to view artistic lizard prints in a variety of rare natural history works on loan from Cushing Memorial Library and Archive.
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is committed to promoting science, and cultural and natural history with the integration of art in exhibits and educational programs. This exhibit was made possible in part through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley. The museum is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. For more information about this adult program, exhibits and other displays, events, programs and activities, contact the museum at (979) 776-2195 or visit www.brazosvalleymuseum.org.