Hop into the musical and multicolored world of anurans, commonly known as frogs and toads, and gain a new appreciation for the beauty of these vocal amphibians this spring at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Beginning Jan. 28, 2017, Florida Museum visitors will be able to get up-close and personal with big, loud and even poisonous frogs in the museum’s new featured exhibit “Frogs! A Chorus of Colors.”
Showcasing various species of live frogs and toads, “Frogs” is the most advanced traveling frog exhibition in the country. Guests may view tree frogs, bullfrogs, horned frogs, giant toads and dart poison frogs.
“Frogs are important globally for ecosystem health, but are under very serious threats from fungal diseases as well as loss of habitat and climate change,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum exhibits and public programs director. “This exhibit will help all of us learn more about their value in nature and challenges they face to survive.”
The Florida Museum is also supplementing the exhibit with updated material from its researchers, including what the fossil record reveals about frogs’ evolutionary history and the diversity, exploration and discovery of new species. Visitors may also listen to recordings of Florida frog calls and view a partial frog fossil skeleton recovered in Alachua County. Exhibit Discovery Carts will allow guests to interact with docents about specimens from museum collections and 3D micro-scans produced at UF that provide detailed views of frog anatomy, including the skeleton, muscles, central nervous system and more.
Some live species on display include the African bullfrog, Amazon milk frog, fire-bellied toad, bumblebee poison frog, Ornate horned frog and the Borneo eared frog. Species are subject to change.
The exhibit features interactive components that allow visitors to activate recorded frog calls to make a chorus of sounds, view videos of frogs in action, learn about the process of metamorphosis through preserved specimens and perform a virtual frog dissection. Throughout the exhibition, guests are immersed in the sights and sounds of the amphibians.
Guests may observe the skeleton of the world’s largest frog, the goliath frog, and explore the differences between frogs and toads.
The exhibition will also present spectacular close-up photographs by wildlife photographers Joe and Mary Ann McDonald, John Netherton and Michael and Patricia Fogden, among others. The stunning images offer a glimpse into the vast pallet of frog diversity.
The museum will host a public opening celebration that includes a “Froggy 5K” race on Feb. 11, 2017, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The cost is $25 for early registration through Jan. 24, or $15 for University of Florida students with a valid Gator 1 card. Late or race-day registration is $30, or $20 for UF students. For more information or to register for the race, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/5K/.
Admission to “Frogs! A Chorus of Colors” is $8.50 for adults ($7.50 for Florida residents, seniors and college students); $5 for ages 3-17 and free to museum members and UF students with a valid Gator 1 card.
The Florida Museum will display “Frogs” through Sept. 4. The exhibit was created by Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland and sponsored in part by contributions from the 150th Anniversary Cultural Plaza Endowment, UF Student Government and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.
For more information, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/frogs or call 352-846-2000.