Jan. 23-Sept. 12, 2021
$10 adults | $9 Fla. residents, seniors & non-UF college students | $7 ages 3-17 | FREE for UF students & Museum members.
For COVID-19 safety procedures and visitor protocols, visit our Reopening Procedures page.
How can slow and steady win the race? Does bigger always mean better? Survival of the Slowest features animals that are slow, small or weak and explores how they use these traits to thrive!
Visitors get an up-close look at live animals, including a sloth, hedgehog, snake and others. The exhibit has a keeper onsite to answer visitor questions, hold daily presentations and ensure the animals are healthy and happy! Meet creatures that have survived for millions of years despite their apparent disadvantages, and learn about the puzzling sides of evolution and adaptation. Discover the difference between warm- and cold-blooded animals, and see the unique ways they hide from predators. A keeper is on site to give daily presentations and answer your questions!
This is a bilingual exhibit. Esta es una exposición bilingüe.
Take a walk on the wild side and meet these slow, slithery and slimy animals!
Colorful graphics and touchscreens reveal other adaptations used by wildlife like warm- verses cold-blooded body temperatures and a difference in size, speed and energy use.
A keeper is on site during business hours to monitor the animals, as well as answer questions from guests. Lucky visitors may even get to meet some of the animals! The keeper also provides information on backyard conservation and local issues related to wildlife. Stop by and meet Del from Little Ray’s Nature Centre!
From: Central and South America
Size: About 2 feet long
Diet: Fruits, leaves, insects
Did You Know: Despite being the slowest mammals in the world, sloths are great swimmers!
From: Central and South America
Size: About a foot long
Diet: Leaves, grass, fungi, fruits, flowers
Did You Know: These slow-moving reptiles can live more than 50 years and primarily communicate through head movements.
Size: 6-11 inches long
Diet: Insects, small reptiles, spiders, fruits, nuts, vegetables
Did You Know: They use their spines as defense mechanisms and spread a foamy saliva over them. Scientists are unsure why this process, known as anointing, takes place.
Size: 4-6 inches long
Diet: Snails, earthworms, beetles
Did You Know: They’re identifiable by the yellow streaks on their black shells. Although small, adults can completely retreat into their shells to evade predators.
From: North America
Size: 3-6 feet long
Diet: Lizards, frogs, rodents, birds
Did You Know: In Florida, they can be found in the Panhandle, west of the Apalachicola River.
From: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
Size: 4-7 inches long
Diet: Small invertebrates, birds, mammals
Did You Know: They’re also called the Pac-Man frog because of their round shape.
Size: Up to 2 feet long
Diet: Insects, fruit, plants, meat
Did You Know: They use their tongue to ward off predators: The blue color makes them seem sick and unsafe to eat.
From: Yemen and Saudi Arabia
Size: Males are 17-24 inches long, while females are 10-14 inches long
Diet: Insects, with leaves as a water source
Did You Know: They can change into a variety of colors and can even constrict themselves to look like a tree branch.
Madagascar Giant Hognose
From: Madagascar and the Comoros Islands
Size: 4 to 6 feet long
Diet: Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, eggs
Did You Know: The name “hognose” comes from their upturned nose which looks like a pig’s snout.
Asian Water Dragon
From: India, China and Southeast Asia
Size: 20 to 30 inches long
Diet: Plants, insects, other invertebrates
Did You Know: These lizards are strong swimmers and can remain underwater for up to 25 minutes.
This exhibit was produced by Little Ray’s Nature Centres, an exotic animal rescue and educational outreach program based in Canada. The center is accredited by Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums and must adhere to the highest standards of quality animal care and welfare to achieve this certification. All animals in the exhibit have experienced keepers for the duration of the exhibit who ensure the highest quality of animal care and welfare on a daily basis.
All enclosures are maintained at the appropriate temperature, humidity and light cycles required for each animal. Feeding is done with ethically sourced nutrition and tailored to the individual animal’s needs.
The animals are either rescues or captive bred from an ethical breeder, and some are part of a species survival plan (SSP) program in an effort to reestablish populations of endangered species. All of the animals in the exhibit are closely monitored. No animal that exhibits stress around the public may be placed into any exhibit or educational program. If an animal’s behavior ever changes or if there is any concern about stress, then that animal is removed from educational programming until senior staff and/or our veterinarian(s) can re-assess the animal in question.
Although there are no animals in the exhibit that are considered to be at risk of contracting COVID-19, the animals are constantly monitored by zookeepers and veterinarians to ensure they have a safe stay while at the Museum. Additionally, where interactive experiences are permitted, all staff and guests will be required to sanitize their hands before and after any interactions.
Survival of the Slowest is produced by Little Ray’s Nature Centres in partnership with the Canadian Museum of Nature and sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County, University of Florida Student Government and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.