What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Reptiles, Science and History

Posted on: April 30th, 2012 by Guest Blogger No Comments

Events and attractions here in Washington County often have unique features. Nowadays we’re impressed by what has been unearthed here; from mastodon bones to fossils–which visitors have the opportunity to see.


OMSI Science Pub Hillsboro: “How Geckos Stick & Why We Care”

On Monday, April 30, Lewis & Clark College Chair of Biology Dr. Kellar Autumn speaks about the study of geckos’ feet and how this biomimicry is used to create robots that can run up walls and the like. This OMSI Science Pub event, held at the Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro, looks to address how the study of mechanisms in animals has led to biologically inspired materials and machines. Admission is $5 at the door; event is at 7 p.m. More about this Science Pub session.

Venomous Reptile Museum Open in Tigard

The White-Lipped Pitviper can be seen up close at the Venomous Reptile Museum.

The retail store House of Reptiles expanded earlier this year to open a “Venomous Reptile Museum” within its store, featuring 20 to 30 species on display. Take a close look at a 14-foot King Cobra, the Mexican Bearded Lizard, the White-Lipped Pitviper, and the Banded Rock Rattlesnake, among others. The store itself specializes in reptiles, amphibians and quality products for their care. The museum is $3 for adult admission; ages 13 and under are free. More about Venomous Reptile Museum.

Science & Historical Attractions to Check Out

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro boasts one of the largest collections in the Pacific Northwest of rocks, minerals, meteorites, petrified wood, gemstones and crystals from around the world–appealing to all ages. In addition, many spectacular fossils, meteorites, petrified woods and fluorescents from the Northwest are on display. The collection is housed in a unique 1953 ranch-style house that is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Tualatin Heritage Center & Tualatin Public Library

If you’ve had a hankering to view a mastodon tusk and molars, visit the Tualatin Heritage Center maintained by the Tualatin Historical Society. Take in the exhibit of Native American items as well as glacial erratic mementos from the Missoula floods. Likewise, 14,000-year-old mastodon skeleton bones are on display at the Tualatin Library after being discovered nearby.

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