The Museum of Natural History
The Frog Show Revisited 2007
I just revisited the Chorus of Frogs show that was brought back to the Museum of Natural History in NY city. Since most of the exhibit was the same, I didn't take pictures of each and every tank again. However, there were a few frogs there who were not there last time. The pacman frogs in the exhibit this time looked quite different than the one I added to the toadilytoads.com museum page in 2004. The pyxie there now didn't look like the same individual, either. All in all its the same show with the same features, but one thing I noticed was that many of the animals in this show looked thin and underfed. They didn't show any sign of obvious stress, such as climbing the walls to escape, though I can imagine how they must feel with the bright fluorescent lights glaring on them all day and thousands of people a week pointing and poking at the glass. Well meaning children don't know any better and are notorious for taping the glass or even knocking on it to get a frog's attention and you would be shocked at how many parents don't know any better than their kids do. To make it worse, there were no signs posted that I could see, warning against glass tapping.
The two smooth sided toads in the exhibit were nestled in the darkened hollowed log, exactly where they were last time, so I didn't bother photographing them again. They are the only live bufo in the show. One thing I did go out of my way to photograph this time was a panel that explained what a true toad is and how certain species with the English name "toad" aren't toads at all. Firebellies and spadefoots are mighty cute, but they are frogs, not toads. I end up explaining that over and over to people who contact me via this website, so its nice to have the museum display of this.
No matter what, the show is a good thing in the end. Its there to educate more than anything else. It is there to bring awareness to the issue of the frog crisis, global decline and the illness and mutations happening to frogs and other amphibians world wide and how this is a wake up call to man. I do wish somebody would feed these guys a little better, though. Skinny frogs and toads aren't very hardy.
As you can see, these guys were not the same pacman frogs as seen in the 2004 show. These are your pet store variety.
I don't recall this Milk frog from the last show. Very cute!
A wonderful part of the exhibit for me was this game designed to teach the difference between frogs and toads. While I feel my page on the subject is more straight-forward and definitive, this board answers some age old questions that I'm always being asked about specific species. Notice the American toad on the top left side. Now scroll down and see that under the flap, it identifies them as True toads.
Next is the pacman frog (or aka horned frog) sitting under the bufo americanus flap.
Since it came out blurry, I will repeat: "Horned Frogs live on the ground. They have bumpy skin and short hind legs. NOT a true toad.Now see the Firebelly under this one?
Here you have it! Firebelly toads should have been named Firebelly frogs by the pet trade. This has caused much confusion. I'm always saying, "Cute as they might be, Firebellies are frogs, not toads" and people always reply, "then why do they call them toads?" But the fact remains the same, Firebelly frogs are frogs.
I would have thought this one was easy. A White's treefrog from Australia. Would this be mistaken for a toad?
Next was this odd looking aquatic amphibian who looks like a weird version of the African Dwarf or Claw Frogs you see in pet shops. Its often referred to as the Surinam toad. Is it a toad, though?
It says, "Surinam toads have slimy skin and webbed feet for swimming. NOT a True toad!
Next is another one I get many questions about. The spadefoot. Look at those big, bulgy eyes! They just scream "FROG!" to me.
There you have it. They are called "toads" in English, but they are NOT toads.
I don't know who this cute and chubby guy is, but he's adorable! I'd love to see one in person. The lit up boards produced great pictures, though. Finally, below, we see that this is not the same pyxie that was in the last show. Thoough his arms and legs are strong looking, he looked underfed and his eye looked weird, too (the eye not in this photo).
Beneath is a model not found in the Chrous of Frogs show. It is a model of a prehistoric creature now long extinct. When I came up to it I thought it was so cute. It looked like a chubby alligator but with a nicer face than an alligator. Almost amphibian like. Well, as you will read below, he was! Leave it to me to narrow in on the pre-frog!