Header Image: 
Three girls in the Animal Discovery room, one holding a chinchilla and another petting him

Meet a Friend in the Animal Discovery Room

Open Daily, 1:30–4:00 p.m.

With our international colony of teaching animals—from axolotls to legless lizards—you can learn about animal behavior and habitats. 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 about them. Through these encounters, you’ll discover more about yourself and other organisms.

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

Please call Visitor Services at 510-642-5132 with questions about animals at the Hall.

Critter Corner

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
In the Hall’s Niche Classroom
Starting Saturday, October 6th

Meet our animal of the month, and discover how they move, find food or feel when you give them a gentle touch. Critter Corner is a perfect way to introduce the animal kingdom to young learners, ages 8 and under, in a safe and guided environment. Learn more.

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

  • Ball Python
  • Corn Snake
  • Milk Snake
  • Western Hognose Snake
  • Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Lizards

  • Leopard Geckos
  • Crested Geckos
  • African Fat-Tailed Geckos
  • Legless Lizard (European Scheltopusik)
  • Inland Bearded Dragons
  • Fire Skink
  • Mali Uromastyx
  • Black and White Argentine Tegu

Turtles

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

Amphibians

  • Axolotl
  • White's Tree Frog
  • Marbled Salamander
  • American Bullfrogs
  • Fire-Bellied Toad
  • Western Toad
  • Pacman Frog

Mammals

  • Rabbit
  • Chinchilla (in Exhibit Hall)
  • Syrian Hamster
  • Guinea Pig
  • Mouse
  • Long-Evans Rats

Birds

  • Ring-Necked Dove

Crustaceans

  • Hermit Crab
  • Crayfish

Arachnids

  • Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
  • Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula
  • Emperor Scorpion

Other Invertebrates

  • Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (in Exhibit Hall)
  • Crickets
  • Blue Death Feigning Beetles (in Exhibit Hall)
  • Ghost Millipede

Fish

  • Plecostomus Fish
  • Carp
  • Tigerbarb
  • Albino Plateus Cory Fish

Critter Corner

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
In the Hall’s Niche classroom

What is it like to live underwater? How does it feel to warm yourself on a rock? Get an introduction to the living world by meeting small mammals, reptiles, and arthropods. In the Critter Corner, which is perfect for ages 8 and under, you can observe how animals move, feel, and eat. Read stories and role-play with toy animals and habitats so that you can better understand animal life.

Box Turtle swimming in his tank

Featured Critter Schedule*

2018
October—Mice
November—Lizard
December—Turtles

2019
January—Hermit Crabs
February—Rabbits
March—Mice
April—Lizard
May—Turtles

*Please note, the featured critter is subject to change.

Meet our new baby crested gecko

We welcomed a new baby crested gecko into our Animal Ambassador colony on Sunday, August 12, 2018! Unlike human babies, juvenile hatchling crested geckos are capable of taking care of themselves as soon as they hatch. The hatchling was separated from its parents, Pogo and Terra, since it’s safer for the young one. Incubation time for crested gecko eggs can take anywhere from 60–140 days, depending on the temperature they are being incubated at. Right now it is only a couple of inches long, but will eventually reach to a size of 4–8 inches.

Though it won’t be ready to meet visitors quite yet, you can visit our other crested geckos and all our Animal Ambassadors daily in the Animal Discovery Room (ADR) from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Close up of baby gecko

Make a Donation

Our new Turtle Tank

We house about 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. ADR animals must be easily handled and even-tempered.

Check out our beautiful 300-gallon tank purchased by donations from the Sally Molander Memorial Gift fund and from our generous Lawrence Hall of Science visitors. Observe the turtles exploring their new habitat, sunbathing in their larger land area, and showing off their swimming skills.

We Care About Our Animals

Special care is taken to ensure that all of our animals are housed correctly, with the proper diet, substrate, heat, lighting, humidity, and enrichment. Trained undergraduate Animal Discovery Room (ADR) student assistants, with the help of teen volunteers, conduct daily checks of all animals, under the supervision of the ADR Manager. ADR assistants 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 and monitored closely to ensure that they are adjusting well and staying healthy. When needed, we administer medication or provide other special care recommendations suggested by our knowledgeable veterinary staff.

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.