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Meet a friend in the Animal Discovery Room

Daily, 1:30–4:00 p.m

Animal Discovery Room

With our international colony of teaching animals—from axolotls to legless lizards—you can learn about animal behavior and habitats. Meet a new Animal Ambassador every 30 minutes, and feel their fur or scales. Try self-guided activities and examine specimen models. Our knowledgeable staff will introduce you to our wonderful creatures and share fun stories and interesting facts. Through these encounters you'll discover more about yourself and other organisms.

Explore Your Animal Interests

Learn more about live animals in camps, classes, birthday parties, and programs for schools and groups. We can even bring our animals to you!

Animals in the Animal Discovery Room

Animals you may meet when you visit us are listed below. Not all animals are on public view every day.

Snakes

  • Garter Snake
  • Gopher Snake
  • Columbian Red-Tailed Boa
  • Ball Pythons
  • Corn Snakes
  • California Kingsnake
  • Western Hognose Snake
  • Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Lizards

  • Leopard Geckos
  • Gargoyle Gecko
  • Crested Geckos
  • African Fat-Tailed Geckos
  • Legless Lizard (European Scheltopusik)
  • Inland Bearded Dragons
  • Fire Skink
  • Mali Uromastyx

Turtles

  • Three-Toed Box Turtles
  • Red-Eared Slider Pond Turtles
  • California Desert Tortoise
  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Western Pond Turtle
  • South American Wood Turtle

Amphibians

  • White's Tree Frog
  • Marbled Salamander
  • American Bullfrogs
  • Dusky Salamander
  • Tiger Salamander
  • Fire-Bellied Toads
  • Western Toad
  • African Clawed Frog
  • Tomato Frog
  • Pacman Frog

Mammals

  • Rabbits
  • Chinchillas
  • Syrian Hamsters
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Mice
  • Long-Evans Rats

Birds

  • Ring-Necked Doves

Crustaceans

  • Hermit Crabs
  • Marine Hermit Crabs
  • Purple Lined Shore Crabs
  • Crayfish

Arachnids

  • Red Claw Emperor Scorpion (In Exhibit Hall)
  • Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas (In Exhibit Hall)

Other Invertebrates

  • Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (In Exhibit Hall)
  • Walking Sticks
  • Crickets
  • Blue Death Feigning Beetles (In Exhibit Hall)
  • Smokey Oak Millipede
  • Sea Stars
  • Sea Urchins
  • Sea Anemones
  • Sea Snail

Fish

  • Plecostomus Fish
  • Carp
  • Tigerbarb

Aliens on Our Planet

Starting February 13, 1:30–4:00 p.m.

Imagine creatures that can ambush prey using infrared heat, climb trees without arms or legs, hear primarily through their bones, and even peel off their own skin! You may think such creatures are supernatural, but these are the characteristics of common snakes!

Our planet is full of animals with characteristics that seem to belong more to an alien than an animal found on Earth. Learn about these otherworldly creatures, and more, in the Animal Discovery Room program, Aliens on Our Planet.

Lizard in Infrared

Bella, the American Polish Rabbit

Bella was donated to the Hall and has been with us in the Animal Discovery Room for more than two years—equivalent to almost 30 human years! Her coat is a beautiful black and she doesn’t mind being picked up to show it off. Bella loves eating dandelion greens but, like other rabbits, she doesn’t get enough nutrients from eating her food and must practice the unique skill of eating her own poop, otherwise known as cecotrope ingestion. Don’t be grossed out; this practice is vital for rabbits and helps them live long and healthy lives. American Polish rabbits are one of the smallest breeds of domestic rabbits and are often called “little aristocrats.” Visit Bella and her brother Rory on weekends and holidays in the Animal Discovery Room from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Bella, the American Polish Rabbit

Adopt Animals

There are a number of animals in the Animal Discovery Room that have served us well for many years and are now ready to retire from the world of education. In some cases, we have more of one species than we really need. We are looking for permanent homes for these wonderful animals. A small adoption fee helps ensure that each animal goes to a family that is ready to take on the responsibility of adoption. Here is a current list of adoptable animals as well as criteria for adopting them.

Beginners:

Sorry, there are no animals available for adoption at this time.

Intermediate

Sorry, there are no animals available for adoption at this time.

Criteria For Adopting

  1. You must set up a time with the Animal Discovery Room Manager to talk about species-specific enclosure requirements and the animal's husbandry needs and history*. See Contact Us page for general contact information.
  2. You must provide your own enclosure with proper set up and food for the animal prior to picking it up.
  3. You must pay the $15.00 adoption fee for most animals. Mice are a $5.00 flat adoption fee, regardless of how many are adopted at once. Rats are $5.00 each.

*Note: Not all adoptable animals are recommended for households with small children.

Make a Donation

We do accept donations on occasion, but due to space limitations, we carefully screen all animals before they become a part of our teaching animal collection. ADR animals must be easily handled and even-tempered, since many are used in classes with children and members of the public. We also occasionally accept used animal enclosures as long as they are in good condition.

We house more than 50 species of animals and attempt to maintain variation in the ADR when accepting animal donations. Please contact us if you are interested in donating your animal or used animal enclosure to find out if it meets all of our criteria.

We Care About Our Animals

Special care is taken to ensure that all of our animals are housed correctly, with the proper substrate, heat, light, humidity, and enrichment. Undergraduate Animal Discovery Room (ADR) helpers, with the assistance of teen interns, conduct daily checks of all ADR animals. Helpers and interns are the first to notice any changes in the animals’ behavior or physical appearance. If there is a behavioral or physical change in an animal, it is monitored and may receive vet care depending on the severity of the situation. In order to monitor all of the ADR animals, we conduct monthly weight checks. New or sick animals are weighed weekly to ensure that they are adjusting well and staying healthy. When needed, we administer medicine, supplied by our veterinarians.

UC Berkeley Office of Laboratory and Animal Care (OLAC) veterinarians provide care for all our animals according to campus animal care and USDA regulations. Veterinarians are available 24/7 to provide quality veterinary care and advice. They do routine checkups on all of the animals, as well as operations and x-rays, and provide other veterinary services.

Animal Discovery Experience

Meet Alondra Blandon, our Animal Discovery Room manager, and get a behind the scenes tour.

Like the Animal Discovery Room on Facebook!