Calling all amphibian-lovers! Time to hop straight to the Aquarium of the Pacific for the recently opened, new and improved FROGS: Dazzling & Disappearing exhibit.  Showcasing over 2 dozen species of frogs and other amphibians, your little polliwogs are in for a dazzling day of discovery. Here, young herpetologists make a fascinating trip through lush rain forest-like settings while learning lots about our webbed footed friends along the way.

photo: Jenifer Scott

Frogs and Newts and Salamanders…Oh My!
Located in the Tropical Pacific gallery of the Aquarium, this totally revamped exhibit has expanded the number of frogs on display as well as added a bunch of other adorable amphibians to the mix. There are over a dozen viewing tanks of all sizes housing a diverse assortment of animals such as mossy frogs, California newts and a Mexican Salamander.  As you and your budding biologists jump from display to display, you will learn why each of these incredible creatures are considered “vanishing” animals and, at the same time, discover how the Aquarium of the Pacific is taking on the tough (but oh-so-worthy) task of helping them avoid extinction.

photo: Robin Riggs, Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

Ribbit Exhibit
Frog calls are not as simple as you may think. Listen closely to the sounds piped through hidden speakers as you make your way through this exhibit and challenge your explorer sidekicks to see if they can hear different types of frog calls. You will have the chance to learn how important these noises are specifically focusing on their many uses in the wild and beyond. One particular species of tree frog’s call is even sometimes used in movies as sound effects.

photo: Jenifer Scott

The Skin They’re In
One of the most fascinating parts of the exhibit is learning how these amazing amphibians defend themselves from snakes, lizards, birds, humans and (in some cases) other cannibalistic amphibians. Gaze upon the green and black poison dart frog and discover how it’s beautiful coloring is, in fact, the main reason it can avoid becoming lunch for a hungry predator.  Be sure to point out to your wide-eyed wonderers how certain types of salamanders can exude toxic mucus to ward off an attack. These creatures may be some of the smallest in the entire Aquarium, but they are nature-made to drive off predators ten times their size! (Kind of like your tantrumming toddler!)

photo: Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

Survival of the Froggie-est
While we think of Kermit living on his lily pad, there are actually some frogs and toads who live in deserts, where water isn’t exactly flowing aplenty. They have adapted to these dry climates over the years by learning how to conserve water (something we could learn from frogs!), allowing them to survive in such hot habitats. On the flip side, there are those species of frogs who live in incredibly cold environments and are able to freeze themselves into hibernation during winter only to thaw out once warmer temperatures appear! Frog-sicles anyone? Kids will learn all about the different habitats our amphibian friends thrive in and what makes each ecosystem unique to their survival.

photo: Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

Know Before You Go
The FROGS exhibit is on the second floor of the Aquarium at the very end of the building. Since it’s a newly reopened area, plan to arrive early (best times to avoid the Summer crowds are between 9–10 a.m.) and head right upstairs to the Tropical Pacific gallery. This way you can work your way back through the other attractions after feasting your eyes on the amazing amphibians.

photo: Jenifer Scott

Post-FROGS Fun
From the shark lagoon to the Lorikeet forest to the multiple touch tanks, there are tons of exhibits to keep your little water-bugs engaged, so definitely plan on a whole day for your visit. The FROGS exhibit is one of those special attractions that is great for everyone from kids in strollers to tweens.

General admission tickets are $29.95/adults; $17.95/children under 11; free for children under 3 or spend $139 for a Family Membership which offers 12 months of unlimited free admission, extra benefits and exclusive access to the Aquarium.

Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach
562-590-3100
www.aquariumofpacific.org

What’s your favorite animal at the Aquarium of the Pacific? Let us know in the comment section!

—Jenifer Scott