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By Kristina Pritchett

Children squealed with delight when Terri Hernandez pulled out a large Columbian Rainbow Boa Constrictor during the Ocean Institute’s Family Science Night on Thursday, Aug. 11.

There were cages on the floor filled with different animals for kids to see. Some were filled with reptiles, some with furry mammals and other cages held animals that tested the mettle of the young scientists—a scorpion, a tarantula and cockroaches.

This event was part of a series the Ocean Institute held this summer. Family Science Night invited guests of all ages to learn about different topics including sharks, waves, fireworks and animals.

During the Aug. 11 event, the topic was Animal Adventures.

Hernandez works with Adventures in Living Science, a company that customizes a science program that highlights four animals, and a fifth “mystery” animal. Each program has a theme and a style.

During the family science night, Hernandez introduced animals, and had staff members carry the animals around; some were allowed to be touched, but others, like a scorpion, was not recommended.

The room was full of children of various ages, and adults even got into the animals. During Animal Adventures, Hernandez brought out a prairie dog, a hedgehog, a rabbit, a desert tortoise, different snakes, a couple of lizards and a scorpion.

Hernandez told the audience about each of the animals’ habitats, their eating habits and where they can be found in California.

The Ocean Institute will hold other events throughout the year geared toward families of all ages.

“We have the Tall Ships Festival coming up,” Latona said. “We have a haunted night in October before Halloween.”

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