Frog exhibit opens at Camden's Adventure Aquarium

CAMDEN, N.J. - January 16, 2014

More than 20 species of colorful, quirky frogs and toads went on display Thursday, and students from several Camden elementary schools got a sneak peak Thursday morning.

The exhibit is Frogs - Nature's Messenger, and features frogs like the waxy monkey frog, which unlike most, likes to sleep in the sun.

Curious second graders from Charles Street Elementary got their first lesson on the Surinam Toad.

"The Surinam Toad carries its eggs underneath its back," said McKenzie Mangano.

They also learned that camouflage is one of the amphibian's coolest adaptations.

"He kind of looks like a leaf," said 2nd grader Soleil Casseus.

Toddlers from Little Steps of Paradise Daycare were fascinated by the Blue Poison Dart frog.

For their teacher, it was a lesson in "you are what you eat".

"They eat mice and beetles and ants, that's where they get their venom," explained Curator Nikki Grandinetti. "They are going to get a different diet here so they won't be poisonous anymore."

"I learned something," said teacher Sabirah Williams.

Grandinetti explained the Red-Eyed Tree frog's piercing red eyes are meant to warn predators to stay away from them, and the Vietnamese Mossy frog, actually looks like a piece of moss.

Frogs are important to us because they are harbingers of environmental change.

"Frogs absorb almost everything in their environment through their skin," said Kevin Keppel, Executive Director of Adventure Aquarium. "If it's bad for the frog, it is going to be bad for all the other animals down the road."

For this exhibit, children at every elementary school in Camden were asked to paint a larger-than-life fiberglass frog. They will be on display at the exhibit beginning Friday.

Visitors will be able to vote on their favorite painted frog either at the Aquarium or online.

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