Sciensational Sssnakes!! shows have been highly acclaimed by the many different people who have experienced them. We have refined our show over the years into its current format.
Our shows usually last between one and two hours. For small groups little is required: space for the participants and a chair or two for the presenters. For large groups, mall presentations or similar shows, a sound system may be required. Sciensational Sssnakes!! can supply a sound system for an additional charge. The first 20 to 40 minutes of the show is an educational talk. The length can vary between venues and due to the age and interest of the audience. Many different topics can be covered. We have performed shows addressing environmental concerns, endangered species, adaptations, geography, and many more. We can easily adapt to specific program requests, especially those that address the needs of the educational curriculum. Our regular program incorporates many of the above topics.
Native Ontario species, the animals that may be encountered in our own province, are a major focus for us, and a few are featured prominently in virtually every show we do.
In a typical show, we discuss the concept of ectothermy (vs. cold-bloodedness) and the fact that snakes are not slimy with our first guest, usually a garter snake. Our next segment covers snakes’ senses and how they are similar to or different from ours. We love to introduce people to water snakes at this point, as they have a very negative reputation which we (and our water snakes) feel is quite undeserved. They have been wonderful employees for us! Other species highlight discussions of snake feeding and habitats. Of course, we always have an important conservation message to impart. A wonderful animal for this purpose is the largest snake species in Canada, the Black Rat Snake. We discuss the features of this beautiful animal and the problems it has encountered because of humankind.
In addition to natives, we use many species of exotic snakes that are not found in the wild in Ontario. Some of these are excellent pet species of snake, while some have interesting characteristics, and others are simply wonderful to handle and play with. Always popular is a large snake, a python or boa, which is typically the finale of our presentation.
After we have finished, it’s the audience’s turn! In such a short time there is a limit to the amount of information we are able to impart, and we often don’t cover some topic or specific information that an audience member is interested in. We have a question-and-answer period to ensure everyone finds out what they want to know.
The best experience with snakes we have found is a hands-on one. An extremely important component of each show is the portion where every participant is given the opportunity to touch, hold or even wear the snakes. This is a voluntary activity — no one is forced to take part in any way. (Though we love to do lots of encouraging!) There are very important rules to be followed, which are covered at the beginning of this part of the show; we want to ensure the safety of the animals and the enjoyment of the people participating. If possible, we try not to limit the time of this hands-on session, continuing until everyone is satisfied.