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‘The Teeth Beneath’ to highlight gators, crocs and caimans at Mote

Meet the Florida residents who survived by tooth, claw, and scaly armor long before the first humans arrived. “The Teeth Beneath: The Wild World of Gators, Crocs and Caimans” will open Feb. 25, 2017, at Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida.

See American alligators and invasive spectacled caimans found in Florida waters and wetlands, and learn how wetland and coastal habitats are vital to native species such as the elusive American crocodile.

Gators, crocs and caimans are crocodilians — a group of large, reptilian predators that are sometimes feared or misunderstood but play important roles in their ecosystems, reminiscent of the sharks studied by Mote Marine Laboratory scientists.

“Alligators and their relatives are gorgeous and recognizable animals, but many people don’t know their back-stories — the conservation challenges that some species have overcome, the ways they benefit ecosystems and the reasons they deserve our appreciation, support and respect,” said Evan Barniskis, Assistant Vice President for Mote Aquarium.

Highlights:

• Can you tell a gator from a caiman from a croc?  Learn how!

• Think reptiles are quiet critters? Think again — discover their noisy nature.

• What happens when humans and gators meet?

• How do you train a crocodilian? Very carefully! Learn how Mote’s animal caregivers work with the resident gators and caimans to support health and well-being.

“The Teeth Beneath” will be open — wide open — starting Feb. 25, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week in the Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. The exhibit will be located in Mote’s Ann and Alfred E. Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center, 1703 Ken Thompson Parkway, just down the street from the Aquarium admissions office.www.mote.org/visit

 

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