Opening Day: Dinosaurs and Butterflies

You’ve waited all winter for these warm-weather favorites to return. . . and the day has finally come!

Dinosaurs Come to Life and Butterflies are officially open for the season! Visit us now through November 1 to see these awesome seasonal exhibits featuring dinosaurs and butterflies.

Our dinosaur exhibit has some great new dinos, including the impressive Quetzalcoatlus! Check out our T. rex family, and see the awesome paint job on Dilophosaurus, the subject of our 2015 coloring contest.

In its 7th year, our butterfly greenhouse is sure to impress once again. With countless butterflies to see and interesting facts to learn, it’s no surprise this exhibit is a fan favorite. Also, in honor of it’s grand opening today, we’re offering a great deal in the Natural Selections Gift Shop–it’s a limited-time offer, so visit our SALE page and check it out!

Even though these exhibits have been at Reptiland for 5+ years, each year we bring in different dinos and butterfly species to keep guests coming back again and again– so with that said, we hope to see you soon!

Note: A Reptiland membership is a great way to take advantage of all the fun events and exhibits we host during the year (it also makes a great gift). . .

The Painted Dino

SPOILER ALERT

IF YOU WANT TO WAIT AND SEE THE 2015 PAINTED DINO IN PERSON, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.

This year, Dilophosaurus, infamous spitter and DCTL favorite, was the subject of our Paint the Dino Coloring Contest, and what a success it was! With over 300 entries received, we had so many great designs it was very difficult narrowing it down to one. We gave honorable mention to five talented artists, but there could be only one winner, and it was Sabian Mertz of Howard, PA.

Paint the Dino Coloring Contest

Sabian visited with his family last weekend, and we’re glad he finally got to see his work of art brought to life. With his new zoo membership, he’ll be able to visit again and again! Sabian also received a prize package from Billings Productions that included some great stuff–like a real shark tooth!

The Mertz Family

And without further ado, the 2015 Painted Dino…

He looks identical to Sabian’s entry, and we think it’s the best Dilo has ever looked (just don’t tell him that–he might spit on you).

So there you have it: another coloring contest in the books and a great looking dino to show for it! Come see Dilophosaurus and the rest of the crew in Dinosaurs Come to Life now through November 1.

Happy Learn About Butterflies Day!

Learn about butterfliesMarch 14th is Learn About Butterflies Day–help us celebrate!

It may seem a bit premature to talk about insects that won’t reappear for another month or two, but our butterfly greenhouse opens in just over a month, so now’s the perfect time to brush up on your butterfly knowledge.

Also, it’s a good excuse to do these fun activities with your kids!

Why You Should Learn About Butterflies

1. They’re fascinating creatures.learn about butterflies

Butterflies are beautiful creatures that come in countless shapes, sizes, and colors. They live on every continent except Antarctica, and they’ve been around for at least 50 million years! They can’t hear (they sense vibrations like snakes), they taste through their feet, and some migrate up to 2,000 miles! Impressive, huh?

2. They help the environment.

Butterflies, like bees and other insects, are great pollinators; they help plants, trees, and shrubs to reproduce. Butterflies play an integral part in the food chain and their individual ecosystems. They also help scientific researchers by serving as indicators for how things affect our environment.

3. The more we know, the more we can help.

Due to factors such as climate change and habitat destruction, over 20 species in the U.S. are endangered or threatened. Though not yet considered a threatened species, Monarch populations have also been declining. The good news is, there are lots of things we can do to help–we just need to know a few things first!

How You Can Learn About Butterflies

1. Good ol’ fashioned BOOKS

We’ve got great resources on butterflies (for all ages) in the Natural Selections Gift Shop!

Learn About Butterflies

2.  Online Resources (Just be careful–not every source is a good one!)

A few good sources:

North American Butterfly Association

Monarchs: Near Threatened

Sponsor a garden at the National Butterfly Center
OR Create your own butterfly garden!

3. Visit Us

Come see these beauties up close from April 25 to November 1, 2015. Learn about different species, their life cycle, and other fun facts. We now offer the chance to feed the butterflies, too! Check out our Butterflies page for more information.

 Learn About Butterflies
Happy Learn About Butterflies Day–hope to see you soon!

Spring Forward: Exhibits, Events, and Warmer Temps!

While it may feel like winter will never end, this weekend we “spring forward” by moving the clocks ahead an hour; if nothing else, at least it’s a step in the right direction!

Aside from the longer days, sunshine, and greenery to look forward to, we’re especially excited for spring because it means the return of our seasonal exhibits, plenty of kids visiting for field trips, and the anticipation of awesome events to come!

Dinosaurs Come to Life and Butterflies | April 25 – November 1

Our hugely popular dinosaur exhibit is back…and bigger than ever. Dinosaurs Come to Life features 6 static models and 7 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, the most we’ve ever had! With a whole T. rex family, the impressive Quetzalcoatlus (NEW!), and Dilophosaurus‘s new paint job, we can’t wait for you to see them all this spring!

Peaceful music, lush landscaping, and hundreds of flitting beauties–our butterfly greenhouse is like a springtime oasis. We also offer the opportunity to feed the butterflies. Since different species can be seen throughout the duration of the exhibit, be sure to stop in a few times to see them all!
Note: Memberships are great for visiting again and again!

New In the Gift Shop

In preparation for the slew of kids who will be coming through our doors soon, we stocked up on new items for the Natural Selections Gift Shop. Come check them out!spring forward

Event Sneak Peek

They’re still in the works, but we’re so anxious to share our events that we decided to give you a sneak peek!*

Ghost of the Bayou | May 22 – September 7

White alligators are extremely rare. From the Louisiana Bayou, these creatures are thought to be mystical, bringing good fortune to those who set eyes on them. We can’t say for sure if that’s true, but we invite you to visit this summer and find out for yourself…

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Dino Days | June 27 & 28

Join us for an entire weekend dedicated to dinosaurs. Paleontologist and dinosaur enthusiast “Dr. Dino” (AKA Chris DeLorey of the Brevard Zoo, FL) will be here to show off his extensive fossil collection and take guests on a special dino hunt! Fun activities, prehistoric artifacts, and animatronic dinosaurs–mark your calendars for this DINO-mite event!

Wine & Design: Paint for Conservation | July 11

On its own, Wine & Design is a great way to spend time with family & friends, paint a beautiful picture, and relax with a glass of wine (or two). This summer, we’re excited to pair the Wine & Design experience with a great cause: frog conservation.

Frogs are disappearing at an alarming rate, and this event will raise awareness and funds for the global amphibian crisis. Guests can paint a picture showcasing these beautiful creatures, then walk through our Exhibit Gallery to admire them in person. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the AZA Amphibian Conservation Grant Fund, which supports amphibian-related conservation as well as scientific and educational initiatives.

Much of this event is still being planned, but we hope you’ll consider attending to help support this worthy cause (and enjoy a beautiful evening at the zoo)! We will post more information as soon as possible, but tickets should be on sale by late May.

*Event details subject to change
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Check back for more details and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for other important zoo updates.

In the mean time, until Spring actually arrives, keep warm!
(Our Winter Warm-Ups are perfect for getting out of the cold…hint, hint)

 

 

 

 

Frogs Alive

Have a Hoppy Holiday with Frogs Alive

Take a break from your holiday shopping and check out Frogs Alive!

hoppy holiday- frogs aliveThis limited-time exhibit is at the Lycoming Mall through the end of the year. Conveniently located next to Old Navy, it provides a great escape for anyone who needs a time-out from all that shopping–especially the kiddos!

It’s been seen by over 5 million people in big cities across North America, and now people in Central PA have the opportunity to experience it! With over 100 LIVE frogs, interactive exhibits, and educational graphics, Frogs Alive! is a must-see exhibition.

We recently had a group of young students visit, and they had a blast! They enjoyed seeing exotic frogs from around the world and playing with the interactive components of the exhibit. They even got to do a fun frog craft!*

So whether you need a hiatus from holiday shopping or you’re just looking for something fun to do, visit Frogs Alive!, open through December 31, 2014. Call 570.538.1869 for hours.

Have a very hoppy holiday season!

*Craft is provided by the Lycoming Mall and is only offered to education-based groups scheduled in advance. If interested in bringing a group to the exhibit, please call  the number listed above for pricing and availability.

Meet the Team: 2014 Dino Starting Lineup

With March Madness in full swing and the return of Dinosaurs Come to Life in less than a month, we wanted to give you a glimpse at our impressive lineup of dinos for 2014!

Dilophosaurus

dino starting lineupAs the only returning dino, Dilophosaurus is a seasoned vet and fan favorite.  “The spitter” boasts a double-crested head and impressive trajectory of his “poison,” perfect for cooling kids off on a hot summer day. Just don’t mention the movie Jurassic Park—he’s still upset about their inaccurate depiction of him being the size of a dog with girly frills…

Suchomimus

dino starting lineupSuchomimus has a long, narrow snout reminiscent of crocodilians and former DCTL player Baryonyx. Although he’s not the largest in the group, with sharp claws, ferocious teeth, and a prime position within the murky waters of Reptiland, his strategy is intimidation. Thankfully, he’s all “roar” and no bite. He also prefers fish over other meat, so no worries.

Dimetrodon

Dimetrodon is known as the most famous “non-dinosaur” dinosaur, and can be easily identified by the large sail on his back. As the subject of the Paint the Dino Coloring Contest, we’re anxious to see his custom paint job! Classified as a pelycosaur (mammal-like reptile), this guy walked the earth nearly 50 million years before dinosaurs. Don’t let his old age fool you, though…he destroys prey with not one, but TWO types of deadly teeth, hence his name meaning “two-form teeth.”

Triceratops

triceratopsThis three-horned, plant-munching dino is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs of all time and will make a great addition to the DCTL crew! Hailing from the good old US of A, Triceratops has gone up against some heavy hitters. Despite being preyed on by the great Tyrannosaurus rex, we’re confident he’s got what it takes to make 2014 our best exhibit season yet!

Giganotosaurus

giganotosaurusAnd lastly, weighing in at over 17,000 pounds with a length of 46 feet, Giganotosaurus is just that: GIGANTIC! Though no longer considered the largest land predator (thanks a lot Spinosaurus), he does beat out the 3 year, retired DCTL star and former “King of the Dinosaurs,” Tyrannosaurus rex as far as size. Still the largest creature at Reptiland by far, we’re trying to keep Giga‘s ego in check so his head doesn’t get too big (it’s big enough as it is).

 

Oh, and don’t forget about our static dinosaurs and their year-round presence on the Prehistoric Path. Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Coelophysis, Parasaurolophus, and our juvenile T. rex do a great job for us in the off-season!

Check out Dinosaurs Come to Life and witness these dinos in action when their season starts on April 19, 2014!


The Wonders of a Zoo…After Dark

Flashlight Safari at Reptiland

Have you ever wondered what happens in a zoo after dark? You might imagine something similar to “Night at the Museum” where all the animals magically come out of their cages and begin their nightly frolics. Believe it or not, this isn’t the case. Many animals, however, are more active after the lights go out than they are during the daytime. Don’t quite believe it? A visit to Reptiland’s annual Flashlight Safari will ease your doubts.

Like a giant factory, nature works around the clock. When the animals of the day shift retire for evening, their nocturnal counterparts fill in the same niches at night. For example- think about birds and bats. Whereas you see birds during the day, bats take their place at night. In actuality there are more nocturnal animals, both in sheer numbers and in number of species, than diurnal (active during the day) animals.

Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland offers an annual event that allows visitors to see these nocturnal animals up close, viewing the habits that we typically miss. You’ll be amazed by the efficiency of most nocturnal animals. Snakes, for example are among the most efficient nocturnal predators, even thouflashlight safarigh they have poor eyesight. Their excellent sense of smell aids in detecting and tracking prey. Snakes smell with their tongue and some even have heat-sensing organs on either side of the face to detect the distance and location of the prey. Flashlight Safari offers the opportunity to venture through Reptiland’s Exhibit Gallery with nothing but a flashlight to guide you, seeing these incredible creatures at work. You will see mambas, cobras, pythons and rattlesnakes, along with aquatic turtles, poisonous dart frogs, tree monitors and crocodilians. But that’s not all–there will also be opportunities to touch certain animals. . . an American alligator, for one. Also in the lineup for up-close viewing will be Madagascar hissing cockroaches, a tarantula, emperor scorpion, and boa constrictor.

After all this, be sure to step outside and explore Dinosaurs Come to Life, our animatronic dinosaur exhibit featuring a dozen species of life-size extinct reptiles. Torches and spotlights will help guide you through this journey where you’ll see a Baryonyx waiting in the swamp, the venom-spitting Dilophosaurus, gentle Brachiousaurus, a nervous Euoplocephalus and of course the two story tall Tyrannosaurus rex!

The adventure awaits the next two weekends at Reptiland on Friday and Saturday, October 19th & 26th  and 20th & 27th  from 6-9pm. Live nocturnal animal shows  featuring a great horned owl, Norway rat, emperor scorpion, giant Indian fruit bat, rattlesnake and more will be presented at 6, 7, and 8pm each night. Groups of 15 or more people that call in advance will qualify for special discounted rates. So, leave the ghosts and goblins for another time, and this year go on a Flashlight Safari at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland for an unforgettable experience!

Dinosaur Fun Facts: Baryonyx

Baryonyx was a 30 foot long, 3,700 pound dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period, approximately 130-125 million years ago. It was one of the few known piscivorous (fish eating) species and was equipped with special adaptations; long, narrow jaws filled with 128 finely serrated teeth and hook-like claws to hunt its prey.  Baryonyx hunted much like a modern day grizzly bear, sitting on the banks of rivers or wading in shallow waters, waiting for fish to swim past.  It may have even used its hooked thumbs to spear fish from the water. Its habitat consisted of subtropical river deltas and beaches. Although likely solitary animals, Baryonyx may have hunted in packs.
Dinosaur Fun Facts: BaryonyxYou can find an animatronic Baryonyx lurking in the waterways of Reptiland until the end of October. Baryonyx is one of the first dinosaurs you’ll encounter in our Dinosaurs Come to Life exhibit, followed by more than 10 other dinosaurs from the Cretaceous and Jurassic eras. The zoo is open daily from 10-5 on weekdays and 10-6 on weekends (note: hours vary based on season). Dinosaurs Come to Life will also be highlighted again this year during our annual Halloween event, Flashlight Safari, which takes place the last two weekends in October, and is your only chance to see the zoo after dark.

butterflies

Spring Happenings

It’s an exciting time of year at Reptiland, the time of year we as a staff come to anticipate. This is the time that we welcome not only warm breezes and new blossoms, but also the opening of our seasonal exhibits. The planning starts earlier than you might think; before the end of 2011 was in sight, we had committed to bringing back the dinosaur exhibit. . . and making it even more impressive than before! Along with some new dinos, we will welcome back some favorites including Tyrannosaurus rex, Dilophosaurus, Euoplocephalus, our Parasaurolophus nest, and Chasmosaurus. New dinos you should keep an eye out for: an adult Parasaurolophus photo opportunity, Baryonyx, a pair of hunting Coelophysis, and a juvenile T. rex. All in all, we’ll have twelve dinosaurs on display from April 28 through Labor Day. Several dinosaurs will even remain at Reptiland permanently, allowing visitors to view them year round.

But that’s noSpring Happenings at Reptilandt all we’ve been up to… a few months ago, we placed our annual butterfly plant order. These carefully selected plants have been raised under the special care of the gardeners at Ashcombe Farms greenhouse near Mechanicsburg. It is essential that the plants are grown free of pesticides and harmful chemicals in order to be safe for the captivating butterflies that will soon live off of their nectar. The butterfly exhibit plants were delivered, transferred and planted into our butterfly greenhouse last week. By the middle of April, we will begin receiving our first shipments of butterfly chrysalis. We work with several butterfly farms in order to exhibit many different species, all native to North America. The butterflies are sent to us in the chrysalis stage and take anywhere from 5 to 10 days to emerge into an adult butterfly. Once a butterfly emerges it will, on average, live for about two weeks. The butterfly exhibit is a very relaxing place to stroll through and has been a favorite for guests over the past several years.

The butterfly exhibit, along with Dinosaurs Come to Life will be opening on April 28, 2012. Again this year, we will treat our members and exhibit sponsors to an exclusive preview night, to be held from 4-7 pm on Friday, April 27th. The exhibits open to the general public the following day, Saturday, April 28th.