Green Tree Pythons Hatch at the Sciencenter in Ithaca

09/15/2022

The Sciencenter has exciting news– Green tree pythons (Morelia Viridis) have hatched at the museum! The eggs were laid on July 22, and on Thursday, September 8, the babies began to hatch and emerge from their eggs. Slowly they will leave the nest box and venture out into the exhibit space. Visitors can see the babies for the next week or two until they are pulled from the exhibit to begin feedings to help get them established.

In pythons, females will maternally incubate their eggs by coiling around them until they hatch. They can control the incubation temperature by way of muscle contractions – similar to human shivering. This breeding event occurred just like it would have in the wild. This exciting event is likely the very first green tree python clutch to be maternally incubated and hatched on exhibit! The Sciencenter’s Curator of Live Exhibits, Colin Meeks, and the Sciencenter’s Animal Keepers worked diligently to help this incredible feat come to pass. 

Green tree python babies hatch a bright red or yellow, which helps them camouflage while they spend their early years near the ground. They then go through an ontogenetic (developmental) color change to their green adult coloration when they are approximately 1-3 years old, as they start spending most of their time in the rainforest canopy. Green tree pythons are native to Australia and parts of Indonesia including New Guinea.

People are encouraged to visit the Sciencenter and see the babies while they are out in the exhibit space.


About the Sciencenter

The Sciencenter offers interactive exhibits and programs that cultivate a broad community of curious, confident, critical thinkers. The museum offers guests of all ages exhibits, educational programs, a gift shop, two seasonal outdoor science parks, and seasonal mini-golf (now open). General admission is $8 (ages 2 – 64), $7 for seniors (65+), and free to members and toddlers under 2. For current hours, membership information and information regarding current programs and activities, please visit sciencenter.org. The Sciencenter is a proud member of the Discovery Trail in Ithaca.

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