Museum & Science Center > Exhibits

Survival of the Slowest

Counterintuitive Adaptations

Discover species that use their weaknesses to survive in a world where large, strong, and fast animals are at the top of the food chain!

  • Museum & Science Center
  • October 13, 2023–May 19, 2024

¡Esta exposición bilingüe está disponible en inglés y español!

survival web hex
Giant Tortoise Face Close up

Survival of the Slowest:

Counterintuitive Adaptations

Be among the first to experience our newest traveling exhibit brought to you by Little Ray’s Nature Centre. We’ll celebrate the underdogs–the slow, the small, and the weak–during this first look at Survival of the Slowest: Counterintuitive Adaptations. Explore different live animal habitats at your own pace.

Brown-throated three-toed sloth Bradypus variegatus


Available October 16, 2023–May 6, 2024

Make someone’s dreams come true at the RMSC Museum & Science Center with a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the animals of Survival of the Slowest! Book an animal encounter with behind-the-scenes access of the exhibit and meet animals such as a two-toed sloth, russian tortoise, blue tongue skink, and a hedgehog!

animals on the day-of are subject to availability


$50 per attendee

Each encounter has a maximum of 15 people. Full payment is due at the time of reservation. Tickets are non-refundable.


Slots are on Sundays from 4:15–5:15pm, Mondays 1-2pm & 4-5pm, and Thursdays from 4:15-5:15pm, subject to reservation availability.

This experience is available for ages 4 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Bookings are required at least 3 weeks in advance.

animals available

While we can never completely guarantee a specific animal, we will always try our best to cater each tour to the group’s interests, and each tour can be completely unique. Interactions with these creatures can vary from touching to feeding, and a select few can be held.

Animal Request options:

  • Sash the sloth stays inside her enclosure at all times for her own safety. In some cases, guests in private meet & greets can join her supervised, in her house. For safety of Sash and our visitors, the way we interact with her will be through feeding her some of her favorite snacks, which include sticks of sweet potato, peppers, and squash. 2 guests and a handler can enter her enclosure at a time, and groups smaller than 6 are recommended for Sash encounters.
  • Black rat snakes,
  • Leopard geckos
  • Choco striped-knee tarantula
  • Rosehair tarantula
  • Box turtle
  • Fox snake
  • 7-foot boa constrictor
  • Redfoot tortoise (Available to request entering the enclosure)
  • Large green iguana (Available to request entering the enclosure)
  • Madagascar hognose snake
  • Russian tortoise
  • Hedgehog
  • Bearded dragon
  • Select ball pythons (Hot Chocolate and Cocoa)
  • Blue tongue skinks.

request to book

Animal Encounter: Survival of the Slowest

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Observe over 15 species of nature’s slowest-moving animals

Click an image below to jump to and learn about each animal.

Sleeping Two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
Marginated tortoise walking

Did you know?

Explore some fun facts about the animals you may encounter during Survival of the Slowest.


Brown-throated three-toed sloth Bradypus variegatus
Brown-throated three-toed sloth, Bradypus variegatus, Youngster, Brazil
  • Sloths have been around since the last moments that dinosaurs roamed earth–about 65.5 million years.
  • Sloths can hang motionless on branches for up to 15 to 20 hours every day.
  • Sloths are primarily what we call folivores. They feed on mostly leaves, fruits, and the sap of various trees.
  • They eat very little food per day since their metabolism is so slow–it sometimes takes days or even weeks to digest something fully!
  • Their large stomachs have multiple chambers! This helps them to digest tough, fibrous plants like leaves.
  • Their fur is a living, breathing microcosm that acts as home to many different organisms, microbes, insects, fungi, and algae.
  • Sloths are mainly found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.
  • Sloths are surprisingly strong swimmers! Some sloth species will sometimes drop into bodies of water and swim large distances (in a short amount of time) when searching for potential mating partners or seeking new territory.
  • The longest ever recorded lifespan for a sloth species is 43 years. The average lifespan of two-toed sloths is believed to be up to 20 years.



  • The average lifespan of a hedgehog in the wild is 7 years.
  • Hedgehogs are carnivores, eating insects, small mice, snails, lizards, frogs, eggs, and even snakes!
  • Hedgehogs use their prickly spines for defense by curling into a tight ball and tucking the most vulnerable parts of their body in–the head, tail, belly, and legs!
  • When hedgehogs are born, their spines are soft and short. Their spines harden for three weeks while they remain in the nest.
  • Hedgehogs are mostly nocturnal creatures, being most active with their hunting at night.
  • Hedgehogs are immune to certain poisonous plants, so they’ll eat these plants to make a frothy saliva in their mouth and coat their spines with it.
  • Hedgehogs are typically found across Europe, Asia, and Africa.


Horned Frogs

  • Horned Frogs are sometimes referred to as Pacman frogs due to their round shape and large mouth.
  • Female frogs are typically larger than male frogs, but males don spotted chests.
  • The average lifespan of a Horned Frog in the wild is between 1 and 4 years, but they can live up to 15 in captivity.
  • Horned Frogs prefer a diet of insects, small mammals, fish, other frogs, and small reptiles.
  • They have a very sticky tongue which allows them to catch prey and pull it into their mouth.


Russian Tortoise

Marginated tortoise walking
Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) walking on barren peleponnese countryside, Greece
  • The average lifespan of a Russian Tortoise is 40 years.
  • Russian Tortoises are much smaller than typical tortoises, measuring in at about 6-8 inches in length.
  • They can reach 5 MPH in speed.
  • This species of tortoise is only found in Central Asia. They are known to burrow into the ground to insulate themselves from colder weather during the winter months.
  • Female tortoises are typically larger than male tortoises.
  • Russian Tortoises have four toes.
  • These tortoises are herbivores, eating only plants.



  • The Uromastyx lizard lives in desert habitats and rocky areas where it can burrow into the ground.
  • When these lizards are frightened, they use their spiked tails to hit predators and hiss at them.
  • Female lizards dig holes to lay their eggs–between 7–17 at once. Their babies can hatch after just 60 days!
  • The lifespan of a Uromastyx is 15 years.
  • These lizards can gather water or moisture from seeds or plants to survive. They love the sun and can survive up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Males are brightly colored with dark undersides while females have duller colors and a light belly.
  • The Uromastyx will hibernate in the winter for 2-5 months.


Blue-Tongued Skink

  • Like a large scaly sausage with tiny legs, blue tongue skinks will move through the forest floors, as if they’re swimming and using their body like snakes.
  • Because they have smaller limbs (little arms), they are considered a “transition” animal, that shows how other scaly reptiles evolved into snakes millions of years ago.
  • These animals have a powerful bite which they use to crush hard-shelled prey such as snails and beetles, but also to hold on to other large food items. They are omnivorous creatures that eat flowers, fruit, and other small garden insects.
  • Blue tongue skinks love sunbathing. They’ll bask in warm daylight hours to get enough sun exposure.
  • Blue tongue skinks prefer to defend themselves by exposing their large dark colored tongue and mouth lining, scaring would be predators.


About The Exhibit

  • Museum & Science Center
  • Now open! 

presentation schedule


Tickets include General Admission and entrance to the exhibit.

  • Adults: $20.00

    Adults 18+

  • RMSC Member Adults: FREE

  • Seniors & Students: $19.00

    Valid ID required

  • Youth: $18.00

    Children 3-18

  • Toddler Admission: FREE!

    Children under 3

  • Active Military & Veteran Admission: $17

  • Museums for All: $3

  • ASTC Members: FREE!

    Members of the Buffalo Museum of Science and other participating ASTC science centers or museums can visit for free

Tickets purchased online are valid for the date selected and are non-refundable.