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Recording of Snakes of Central Texas

Thank you everyone who came to our last presentation to hear Thom Marshall tell us all about the cool snakes you can find in Central Texas! In case you missed the live event, or want to listen again, click here or the image above for the recording of the lecture and Q&A. And check out our YouTube channel for recordings of our past virtual Science Under the Stars lectures!

Virtual SUTS! Snakes of Central Texas

Welcome to Science Under the Virtual Stars! This month we’ll be learning all about the snakes of Central Texas. Below is a list of activities all dealing with snakes. You’ll learn about their biology, ecology, and that they’re not so scary! We also have our virtual natural history tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory. The live lecture and Q&A with Thom Marshall will be held on March 11th at 7:00 pm CST. The Zoom webinar link is at the end of this post.

Make a snake! What can you find in the house to make a snake?

Once your snake is made take turns to hide and find the snake(s)

S-s-s-snakes alive! Can you identify all the body parts of your snake? Which ones are venomous?

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake. Photo by Thom Marshall

Can you identify the snake? Snake Identification Quiz #1 & Snake Identification Quiz #2

Snakes and Ladders with Ecology: More advanced game, so best for kids 10+ and adults

Online Game: Snakes and Ladders. Improve counting and adding

Online Game: Snakes! The game. Improve use of computer keyboard. Try with your left and right hand

Tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory (13 min)

Black-necked Gartersnake. Photo by Thom Marshall

Zoom Information for live lecture and Q&A, March 11th at 7:00 pm CST:

March 11th, Thom Marshall

Snakes of Central Texas

Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live.

Have you always wondered what kind of snakes you see in your backyard or at the greenbelt? Join us for a discussion about the snakes of Central Texas! We’ll discuss basic facts about snakes, the important roles they play in ecosystems, as well as how to identify common snakes in our area.

We are excited to partner with the Texas Science Festival for this month’s Science Under the Stars virtual lecture! Check out the Texas Science Festival’s website for a ton of other awesome FREE lectures and activities for all ages!

Science Under the Stars has gone virtual! This semester all SUTS activities will be online, but we encourage you to participate outdoors under the stars in your backyard! (If wifi allows for it, of course.) This month’s schedule is as follows:

  • March 4th: Links to the kids activities and live online lecture/Q&A will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • March 11th, 7:00pm CST: Live online lecture and Q&A with the speaker!

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series based in Austin, Texas.

Spring Neighborhood Science at Howson Branch Library

Science Under the Stars has expanded to include the Austin Public Library! At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches around the city a couple times a month. Below are the dates and descriptions for this fall at the Howson Branch Library, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703. All talks begin at 7:30pm. **These talks will be held outdoors, so bring a chair and dress accordingly! Talks will be moved indoors in case of inclement weather.

Portrait of an iguana

Photo credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

February 25th at 7:30pm: Francisco Llauger – “Through Claws and Scales: Reptiles, Conservation, and Iguanas of the Caribbean”
Reptiles are often among the most misunderstood animals walking, crawling, and slithering across our planet, but I’ve always seen nothing but fascinating beings that deserve our respect. I’ve led my life trying to study these creatures, and now I invite you to take that journey with me as we look at why these animals need our protection and look at a unique group of lizards nestled across the white sand beaches of the Caribbean-Cyclura, the most endangered lizards in the world!


Blue cheese

Photo credit: Hubertl

March 31st at 7:30pm: Tristan Kubik – “Fermented fantasia: a leavenly evening sure to spoil you rotten!”
Planet Earth is infested with germs. They coat everything from the surface of our skin to the machines we use, and yes, even the food we eat. Some of these germs can make us sick, some disgust us with their putrid byproducts, while still others poison the very air we breathe. But hiding amidst these tales of illness and foul decomposition is a love story of epic proportions. Amidst the fray of villainous viruses, bad bacteria, and insidious fungi are a few unsung heroes and gifted culinary artisans. What happens when animals break bread with these good microorganisms? What possibilities are unlocked when two unlikely allies team up and turn terrible into terribly wonderful. Together we’ll embark on an unexpectedly delicious adventure. Join me for a leavenly evening as I relate one of the world’s lesser-known love stories, a tale of deliberate food spoilage we affectionately refer to as fermentation!


Snake being held in hand

Photo credit: Anne Chambers

April 28th at 7:30pm: Anne Chambers – “Slithering serpents: biodiversity, natural history, and common misconceptions of snakes”
Do snakes really dislocate their jaws while feeding? How can you tell if a snake is dangerous? Are all snakes deaf? How did snakes evolve and what role do they play in an ecosystem? Get the answers to these questions and more during an evening exploring everything to do with snakes!

Drawings of brains of human, dog fish, frog, alligator, and ostrich

Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images

May 19th at 7:30pm: Isaac Miller-Crews – “Animal brains”
How do animal brains evolve? Come take a dive into neuroscience, looking at how animals (including humans!) use their brains. We will examine what is different and what seems to stay the same across a wide range of species.