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While attending an event in Agoura Hills,

Grayson Kent and Marilyn Fordney pictured with Kodo the Colombian tegu. Photo by Alex Havasi.

Grayson Kent and Marilyn Fordney pictured with Kodo the Colombian tegu. Photo by Alex Havasi.

California, I sat next to Karen Kent and we began conversing. I learned that she has a son, Grayson Kent, who has had a passion for reptiles since he was a little boy. His parents encouraged this interest and eventually he graduated from UC Santa Barbara as a paleontologist. Kathy invited us to attend one of his upcoming presentations for the Southwestern Herpetologists Society – Los Angeles Chapter meeting. Little did we know that it would be the most interesting, entertaining, and educational presentation that we have attended with lots of fun and interaction with exotic reptilians. The title of his presentation was “Anthropophagy: The Science of Man-Eaters.”

A lavender albino reticulated python around Jared McGowan’s neck. Photo by Alex Havasi.

There were over 30 members and guests attending and you could hear a pin drop during Grayson’s lecture. Before he got started, everyone walked around and interacted with the various exotic reptiles and snakes. This was definitely a

reptile friendly group of people who love these creatures. My husband, Alex Havasi, briskly walked the room to take photographs of each creature with their owners and guests handling and petting them.

Some of Grayson’s bone artifact collection was displayed. As he spoke on various topics, these were used to visually emphasize how an animal uses its anatomy to hunt and kill. His lecture covered dinosaurs, reptiles, snakes, marine biology, ice age mammals, and wildlife in various countries. There was a focus on the

Jackson Bloszies with his savannah monitor. Photo by Alex Havasi.

science behind animal attacks, human-predator relationships, and the cultural ramifications of humans being prey. He explained why some animals eat humans and why this may or may not occur among certain species

All of a sudden there was a knock on the door where the presentation was located and in walked two giant dinosaur-looking creatures. Everyone grew quiet. They checked us out and continued on their way. Guess the Halloween costumes got an extra workout. Everyone was laughing.

At the conclusion of his lecture, Grayson asked for questions. With his breadth of knowledge and expertise, he was able to give very informative answers.

As we were getting ready to pack up and depart, a lady walked up to a gentleman standing next to us and offered him a clear plastic bag full of dead white mice. He said

Grayson Kent pictured with Fabiola Galvan Torres, President of Southwestern Herpetologists Society – Los Angeles Chapter. Photo by Alex Havasi.

“thank you very much” and deposited the bag into the pocket of his coat. Alex and I stood there wondering what was going to happen next???

By Marilyn Fordney

Grayson Kent’s website is www.rocknrollreptiles.net

Southwestern Herpetologists Society website is www.swhs.org

A California King Snake pictured with Abby Pina. Photo by Alex Havasi.

Dinosaur visitors invading the meeting. Photo by Alex Havasi.

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