Amphibians on a Saturday
February 20, 2013
I’ve been hosting our Saturday science program for several years. I learn something fascinating at each program. On February 9, the Kansas City Zoo presented Amazing Amphibians, and another great time was had by all.
Here’s what I learned this month:
- The marine toad has no muscles in its throat, and it has large eyes. After capturing food with its remarkable tongue, the marine toad closes his eyes, which help push the food down his throat.
- I didn’t get too close to the rainbow boa constrictor because all snakes give me a creepy feeling down my back. But I could clearly see that this snake was not decked out in rainbow colors. It is the iridescence of its scales that reflects the sun in rainbow colors. Fascinating, um, even from a distance.
- The zoo’s education staff has a couple of bright blue poison dart frogs. Their blue color is a warning to predators that they are poisonous. The poison comes from the fire ants that they gobble up happily. I knew those things already, though. What I didn’t know is that poison dart frogs don’t really like the water!
- Amphibians, particularly frogs, are "indicator" animals. They are the first to get sick from pollution or changes in the health of the ecosystems in which they live. This reminds me to do my part in caring for the planet, like conserving resources and recycling.
Our next Saturday science program, Civil War Medicine, will be held on March 9 at 2:00 p.m. This program will present the medical methods and practices of the 1800s. Participants will view antique medical equipment and practice bandaging wounds. Please register for this program. You will be most welcome!
Blue Ridge Branch