Python Physical Exam
An 18-foot 150-pound female Bali yellow-head reticulated python (Python reticulatus) gets a physical exam by the Academy's resident veterinarian and team of biologists. These snakes originate in Southeast Asia and feed on birds, lizards and mammals.
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As we celebrate its 90th anniversary, we look back on the history of the Academy's Steinhart Aquarium.
Academy entomologist Dave Kavanaugh appears as Santa Claus on the California Academy of Sciences' Living Roof with two new resident reindeer that are part of the 'Tis the Season for Science exhibit through January 6, 2013. Learn more
Steinhart Aquarium biologists are shown collecting small cuttings of coral fragments on the California Academy of Sciences 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition. These fragments were legally exported from the Philippines and brought into cultivation as part of the Academy's efforts at sustainable collection-building.
These small cuttings will be grown into larger colonies, which can then be fragmented to produce corals for display, in-house research projects and exchange with other zoos and aquaria. Exchanging captive-propagated corals is one way that we are able to reduce collection pressures on wild reefs.
Lemondrop, a bright yellow 15 ft (4.4 m) male albino reticulated python, gets a physical exam before being introduced to his new home at the Academy. The snake lacks the dark pigment melanin necessary for normal coloration; lack of coloration can be a survival disadvantage because he won’t blend into the environment and is more likely to be spotted by predators. Lemondrop was born in captivity and hasn’t faced the perils of the jungle environment. Reticulated pythons are nonvenomous ambush hunters using both sight and smell to locate prey.
Academy aviculturist Vikki provides a behind the scenes look into feeding the free-flying birds that inhabit the Rainforests of the World exhibit.