The Comfort Suites Sarasota is a perfect launching pad to learn more about Florida wildlife. Whether your family is ready to head out on a hike in search of the Florida Scrub Jay at Oscar Scherer State Party in Osprey, take a ride on the World’s Largest Airboat “Gator Gal” at Myakka River State Park in search of a variety of birds and alligators, or learn about the marine life in Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, the opportunities to “Discover Natural Sarasota” abound.
Located about 13 miles northwest from the hotel, just a mile north of St Armands Circle, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is an world-renowned research center where visitors can learn about marine science, local ecosystems and marine life including sharks, rays, skates, manatees and sea turtles at its public Aquarium. This weekend, Mote has unveiled a new exhibit with a “lot of teeth.”
“The Teeth Beneath: The Wild World of Gators, Crocs and Caimans” is now open – as they saw “wide open!” at Mote Aquarium
Here’s the full announcement about the next exhibit from our friends at Mote:
See American alligators and invasive spectacled caimans found in Florida waters and wetlands, and learn how wetland and coastal habitats are vital to native species such as the elusive American crocodile.
Gators, crocs and caimans are crocodilians — a group of large, reptilian predators that are sometimes feared or misunderstood but play important roles in their ecosystems, reminiscent of the sharks studied by Mote Marine Laboratory scientists.
Mote, an independent nonprofit marine science institution, educates visitors through exhibits like “Otters & Their Waters,” which opened in 2015 and highlights watersheds that drain into the ocean. Alongside the otter exhibit, “The Teeth Beneath” will continue the watershed-to-ocean theme.
“Alligators and their relatives are gorgeous and recognizable animals, but many people don’t know their back-stories — the conservation challenges that some species have overcome, the ways they benefit ecosystems and the reasons they deserve our appreciation, support and respect,” said Evan Barniskis, Assistant Vice President for Mote Aquarium. “We want visitors to see these animals with new eyes.”
- Can you tell a gator from a caiman from a croc? Learn how!
- Think reptiles are quiet critters? Think again — discover the noisy nature of crocodilians.
- What happens when humans and gators meet? Learn how conservation has helped some crocodilian populations bounce back from human impacts, and learn safety tips to help people and crocodilians coexist.
- How do you train a crocodilian? Very carefully! Learn how Mote’s animal caregivers work with the resident gators and caimans to support their health and well-being.