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Dragons Alive! The Science and Culture of Reptiles


Dragons await you at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Dragons Alive! the Science and Culture of Reptiles.

The exhibit features 10 species of reptiles from around the world for you to see up close. Stare into the deep eyes of the bearded dragon, measure yourself against the mighty black-throated monitor, and wonder at the beauty of the colorful jeweled lacerta. The frilled dragon, blue-tongued skink, and the majestic uromastyx are ready to show you how these fierce creatures have inspired people throughout the ages.

Through encounters with live collections and kid-friendly activities, the limited-time exhibit offers something for everyone. Let your imagination soar to new heights as you explore the exciting cultural connections between dragons, reptiles, and people!

Dragons Alive! is organized by the Potawatomi Zoo and produced by Build 4 Impact, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Exhibit Highlights

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    Live Reptiles

    Dragons Alive! features 10 species of live reptiles that you can see up close as you explore three different cultural settings. Meet a variety of large and small lizards like monitor lizards, bearded dragons, and more that are sure to spark your imagination! Be sure to join us for daily programming celebrating these majestic creatures.

    Starting February 17: Dragon Discovery! Drop by the exhibit every day at 11:30am for either a guided talk, an animal training, a feeding, or a Critter Connection. There's something new every day!

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    How to Collect a Dragon

    For the most curious adventurers, How to Collect a Dragon is a survey of historic and contemporary specimen-collecting practices, through the lens of the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ fluid preserved collection. Experience a selection from our 23,260-piece wet collection of reptiles and amphibians, and learn how these specimens are helping scientists today.

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    Measure Up Against a Dragon

    How big is a komodo dragon? How big are you? Compare yourself to the real-life size of a real-life dragon, the komodo dragon and various types of dragons found throughout cultures and history!

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    Dragon Book Reading Room

    Cozy up to a great dragon themed book with your family and friends in the Dragon Book Reading Room, which includes a small library of age-appropriate themed books and sitting for families to read.

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    Hungarian Horntail

    Visit the life-sized Hungarian horntail dragon, made famous in the Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Be sure to get a photo and check out all of the other books that feature dragon characters.

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