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Reptiles simply aren’t ideal pets. The only time they’re cuddly is when they want to lie on your arm and soak up your heat or, in the case of a reticulated python, eat you. Whether they’re sitting on a rock, slithering across the blacktop, or prowling for dinner, they seem menacing—that Komodo dragon isn’t smiling, it’s deciding whether it can fit an entire goat in its mouth. But ecology expert Whit Gibbons shares a more indulgent view of these chilly-veined creatures in his lecture “The Benign and the Malign: Reassessing Reptiles in the Modern Age.” Learn about threats to and preservation of our scaly compadres at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th & Constitution Ave. NW. $12. (202) 357-3030. (Nathalie op de Beeck)