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Reptilian fascination

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The Details

The Las Vegas Reptile Show
December 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; December 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
$12 adults, $7 kids 5-13, 5-and-under free
(bring a can of food for $1 discount from each adult ticket)
Cashman Convention Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. N.
lasvegasreptileshow.com

Any local old-timers recall a reptile joint at Sunset and Boulder Highway—back in the ’70s, I think? I was young, but I can’t be dreaming this: a smallish building filled with snakes and lizards behind glass. We only went once or twice; mom was primally afraid of snakes. That’s where I first came eye to cold eye with the thrilling variety of reptiles. I was enthralled—by the distant echo of dinosaurs; by their utterly impassive, unexpressive features; by the sheer extraterrestrial otherness of them. Is it any surprise that so many movie aliens are reptilian? Something about them goes right to that spot between the shoulder blades where shivers—of fascination, of dread—are set loose.

Or, I don’t know, is this mostly a boy thing? (That might explain my antipathy toward turtles: reptiles only a girl could like.) Because I want to take my granddaughter to the Las Vegas Reptile Show (from the press release: “hundreds of tables and thousands of reptiles”), and not merely as an excuse to renew my own captivation with these animals. I want to see if they grab her imagination, too.

If memory serves, that reptile place later became a TV station. Draw your own conclusions.

3 reasons to get the shivers at the Las Vegas Reptile Show

1) You missed out on that snakeskin purse marked down 50 percent on Black Friday, so why not pick out the skin for your next one while it's still slithering? A word of caution, you may land yourself a hot spot on PETA’s naughty list. And I don't think they send coal...

2) During the holidays, we could all use a prince to kiss under the mistletoe. The reptile show’s large selection of bug-eyed hopefuls is bound to turn up some royal blood if you plant one on the right reptile.

3) An area will be provided at the show where guests can get up close and personal with reptiles such as a large snake, tortoise or lizard. Never fear, not only are these nonvenomous, we also hear they're great listeners. -Laura Davis

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