– Frogs – small yet mighty, masters of the art of disguise, and more vibrantly colored than a box of crayons – are hopping their way into Adventure Aquarium for a limited-time exhibit, January 17-April 27. More than 20 exotic species of frogs and amphibians will teach visitors to respect the critical role frogs play in predicting the health of our environment while offering Adventure Aquarium guests the incredible opportunity to observe and learn from these fascinating, exotic creatures - all in a fun, interactive environment.
Frogs: Nature’s Messenger provides Adventure Aquarium guests the chance to come face-to-face with frogs of all types, sizes and vivid colors. From the beautiful red-eyed tree frog, with eyes that, scientists believe, evolved into their stunning color to cause their predators a moment of pause to the tiny but memorable poison dart frog, guests will learn more about the evolution, biology, natural habitat and unique characteristics of their favorite amphibian friends. Discover the enormous African bullfrog, larger than a dinner plate and able to swallow a mouse whole and the waxy monkey frog native to South America, so named for their ability to grasp onto tree branches like monkeys. Come up close and personal with the massive marine toad, a land-dweller who is toxic to those who prey upon him, and be amazed by the hourglass tree frog, which can change color based on the time of day or the fascinating polka dot tree frog, one glimpse at its underbelly and you can see its heart, liver and other internal organs.
“Everyone has a perception of what a frog is and what they look like,” said Kevin Keppel, Executive Director of Adventure Aquarium. “What’s great about this exhibit is that not only will guests experience the intricately patterned, bold and diverse selection of frogs, that also can listen to the frogs and learn about how important they are to our planet. They’re more than just an animal in the backyard. They may be small, but they have a big story to tell.”
You’ve heard of canaries in the coal mine – tiny birds considered accurate predictors of air quality and safety for the miners below – but you may not realize that frogs play the same critical role as messengers for nature. Scientists believe the health and life-span of frogs is an early warning system for the biosphere as a whole. Frog populations are sharply declining with more than one-third of amphibian species threatened with extinction. With highly permeable skin that needs to thrive both in and out of water, frogs are susceptible to pollutants and environmental disturbances.
“They may be small but we cannot underscore their might or importance in helping to protect our ecosystem,” said Nikki Grandinetti, Curator of Fish & Invertebrates at Adventure Aquarium. “More, nearly 200 amphibian species have disappeared completely in the past 35 years; posing a major concern considering these same animals have survived and thrived for more than 250 million years. Highlighting frogs in this unique and exciting way will help us shine a spotlight on the amazing role they play in our environment, and help our guests understand the small steps they can take at home to start protecting these important amphibian populations.”
Frogs will also take on a whole new dimension during this exciting exhibit, thanks to an exciting partnership with the Camden City School District. Students from one classroom at each of the elementary Camden Schools were challenged to paint a larger-than-life ceramic frog as part of their art curriculum. These frogs will be unveiled as part of Frogs: Nature’s Messenger and remain on display for the duration of the exhibit. Beginning in January, guests will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite painted frog. The classroom with the most votes at the end of the contest will celebrate with a pizza party. Through a partnership with Michael’s Arts & Crafts Stores, Adventure Aquarium has donated over 500 art supplies to participating Camden Public Schools.
Join us in 2014 for this limited-time engagement at Adventure Aquarium that will give the entire family something to croak about. Visit our event page for details and tickets.