Thursday, August 7, 2008

What I Learned at the Baltimore Aquarium

Last weekend, my beau and I drove up to the Baltimore Aquarium to see the amazing frog exhibit. There were a number of reasons I wanted to check out the frogs.

First of all, I heart frogs. Frogs have been around for a long time - the earliest known frog appeared about 190 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period.

Frogs are also very important for the environment. Since they are very vulnerable to pollution. toxics or change in temperature in the environment (since they breathe through their skin), they are considered a "canary in the coal mine'' for environmental damage. The canary was used for detecting toxic or explosive gases in coal-mines, before there was a better way to do it. More sensitive to such gases than humans, they would collapse long before the miners were affected, and a collapsed canary was therefore a signal to the miners to get out immediately, and to management to look at the problem and clean up the mine. Frog populations around the world have showed increasing signs of stress in recent years. Some species have disappeared, and others are decreasing. There has also been an increase in deformities (extra legs, etc.). These are definitely signs that something is wrong.

It was amazing to see the frogs from all over the world. Here are some pictures:

Read more on frogs here.


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