Environment

Fascinating Frogs

A biologist talks to TFK about the slimy stars of a new aquarium exhibit

April 03, 2014
COURTESY WEINTRAUB FAMILY

TFK Kid Reporter and scientist Lauren Hauber pose with a frog at the Camden Aquarium, in New Jersey.

A new exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, is putting frogs on center-stage. The show, titled “Nature’s Messenger,” features amphibians from around the world and educates visitors about threat facing frogs. Biologist Lauren Hauber, who helped plan the exhibit, talked to TFK about the important role of frogs and other amphibians in our environment.

The waxy monkey frog, featured in the exhibit, is covered in a waxy substance that protects its skin.
COURTESY ADVENTURE AQUARIUM
The waxy monkey frog, featured in the exhibit, is covered in a waxy substance that protects its skin.

TFK:

The exhibit has more than 20 species of frogs and other amphibians. Which one do you think is the most fascinating, and why?

LAUREN HAUBER:

The red-eye tree frog is the most popular because its eyes are so bright.

TFK:

Besides frogs, what other amphibians are part of the exhibit? 

HAUBER:

Salamanders, such as the greater siren, are also featured.

TFK:

Why did you decide to host the amphibian exhibit here at the Camden Aquarium?

HAUBER:

We only have two exhibits a year, and frogs were chosen because they are an important part of our environment. Frogs are a signal to people when things become unhealthy in the environment.

TFK:

Kid Reporter
Phoebe Weintraub

Why do scientists study frogs and other amphibians?

HAUBER:

Frogs are an indicator of the health of the environment. Studies on frogs help with medical cures of certain diseases. Since frogs breathe through their skin, they are more susceptible to changes in the environment.

TFK:

In the wild, are these creatures in danger of becoming extinct?

HAUBER:

Yes, they are. There is a fungus called chytrid, which is devastating populations of amphibians around the world. Frequently, pet frogs are released into the wild and disrupt the native populations. When they come in contact with other frogs, they can cause the spread of disease.

TFK:

What can kids do to help frogs and other amphibians?

HAUBER:

Prevent pollution. Don’t throw anything into rivers. Put your trash in the proper receptacles.

TFK:

For kids who don't live near the Camden Aquarium but who want to learn more about frogs, is there a website you recommend?

HAUBER:

You can go to the Frog Watch section of the website for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for more information. Another website is www.savethefrogs.com.


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