December 1, 2020

The rarest animals at Discovery Place Science

Discover our rarest animal residents

Whether you are young or just young at heart, a visit to Discovery Place Science means lots of learning and plenty of fun. From live shows and interactive demonstrations to lab experiments and science-based challenges, the Museum is full of entertaining ways to keep your brain engaged with STEM education.

Some of the most popular exhibits at the Museum are those featuring our beloved animal residents. Most visitors to the Museum have laid eyes on one of our red-footed tortoises, heard the welcoming call of our blue-and-gold macaw or maybe, for those brave enough, even had the opportunity to touch one of our colorful snakes or insects.

As an organization with four hands-on museums, Discovery Place has more than 500 animals in its care. From coral (yes, coral is an animal!), fish and insects to birds, tortoises and an opossum, our live creatures serve as ambassadors to their species and provide a unique way for guests to immerse themselves in the world around them.

On your next visit to Discovery Place Science, be on the lookout for these rare animals living at the Museum:

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)

Our great blue turaco lives at Discovery Place Science as part of our participation in a Species Survival Plan Program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Through this program, Discovery Place participates in the management of the population of this species in captivity. Our turaco spends most of his time in the top canopy of the Rainforest and mainly eats fruits and vegetation. Currently, he is patiently awaiting a mate. Be sure to look up high into the trees of the Rainforest of on your next visit to see if you can spot him!

Japanese horn sharks (Heterodontus japonicus)

Also part of a Species Survival Program through the AZA, four Japanese horn sharks – two male and two female – call the World Alive aquarium at Discovery Place Science their home. Relatively small as far as sharks go, Japanese horn sharks have one of the most powerful jaws out there. They predominantly eat shellfish like clams, so this jaw strength comes in handy. Swim on over to the aquarium to see them in action.

Mediterranean cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis)

Our Mediterranean cuttlefish also are on display in the World Alive aquarium at Discovery Place Science. Cuttlefish are marine mollusks that belong to the same class as squid and octopus. They can change color to blend in with their surroundings and the males are also known for their vibrant “flashing” colors during fighting and mating. Strictly predators, they eat crustaceans like shrimp and crabs as well as small fish (and even other cuttlefish!). See if you can find them hiding out along the bottom of their tank in the aquarium.

Golden poison dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis)

The golden poison dart frog is the most poisonous amphibian in the world, and some scientists believe it is the most poisonous animal in the world. Its bright coloring warns predators of its extreme toxicity, which serves as its main protection and allows the frog to have a relatively long lifespan in the wild. Our golden poison dart frog can be spotted in our special Fantastic Frogs exhibition at Discovery Place Science. This amphibian eats fruit flies, crickets and other insects.