Natural history comes alive at the Springs Preserve, Las Vegas

There is a special place in Vegas where you can visit natural history and watch it come alive, if you dare! Far from the glitz and glamor of the Strip, both in distance and historically, Springs Preserve offers everything from archaeology to new ways of viewing nature at their exhibits.

Springs Preserve

Springs Preserve

In the Dark :

Celebrates the creatures of the night, be they creepy, crawly or of the winged variety. A special exhibit in the Origen Gallery. I had no idea that the word “Origen” was selected because it blends the words “original” and “generations.” What a perfect way to celebrate life and acknowledge the history of Nevada while looking toward the future! Many folks who live here don’t realize that the Springs Preserve’s Origen Museum Living Collections features a host of native mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. Part of the Natural Mojave Gallery, these exhibits allow you to observe at close hand some of our most famous desert dwellers, and helps visitors understand how these creatures have come to adapt to the extreme temperatures and arid climate of the Mojave. From now until September 25th, 2011, you can see all the “Bugs” at the Origen, and until September 5th, 2011, you can explore “Trees.” In October, Springs will be hosting a “Scavenger Scarecrow Contest,” just right for the season! There’s always something cool at Springs!

The Rotunda leads you to a new world, where new experiences await. Included are:

Lizard Habitat

You can find nine different species of lizards, including the desert iguana, chuckwalla and tiger whiptail among the rocks and boulders.

Desert Cottontails

Cute, fluffy and almost close enough to touch, they hop about an exterior enclosure, where you can see them from different perspectives, the most fun being via a domed window beneath the habitat!

Gray Fox

The fox may sleep in its burrow during the day, but you can see it through a small window nestled in the dark rockwork cave. After the sun goes down, the fox emerges to roam among native plants and rocks.

Botta’s Pocket Gopher

Through a window, guests can view an excavated trench that exposes the network of burrows created by Botta’s pocket gopher. Nearby scuttle desert tarantula and desert hairy scorpions (safely behind glass, of course!)

Ant Colony

Three interconnected terrariums house a harvester ant colony, including 2 living chambers and a foraging chamber. You can watch them busy at work in a nest on an accompanying monitor!

Gila Monster

You can view Gila monsters in their burrows at eye level when you explore a grotto of large rocks. Open a sculpted Gila monster and you will see the fatty deposits in its tail that helps him survive for long periods of time without eating.

Night Life

There was Night Life in Vegas way before the strip, back when the land was all desert with nary a palm tree to be seen! Recluses, sidewinders and widows wandered freely, searching for shelter and sustenance. Here you can also see the newest member of this exclusive set – the Bark scorpion. Come see “who’s who” in Vegas’ venomous world…. if you dare! To view videos of this ever-evolving exhibit,

please visit their website. Springs Preserve – 333 S. Valley View Blvd. at US 95.

Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

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