Save the Frogs!

Frogs are the subject of a new exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Frogs in water, in trees, in mud and in your back yard. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, the frogs are incredibly delicate but important members of the animal kingdom.

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Frogs. Green ones. Brown ones. Red, yellow and blue ones. Some are sticky. Some are slimy. Some are covered in warts. Others have skin as thin and delicate as a piece of tissue paper. They come in all sizes...and all sounds.

There's the American Bullfrog.

The Pig Frog.

The Spring Peeper.

And the world's most famous frog.

"Hi Ho! Kermit the Frog here!"

Joking aside, a lot of Americans tend to view frogs and toads as ugly pests.

"We want people to be fascinated with them. That's really the point of the exhibit, to present them in such a way that people are just fascinated and they think they're beautiful and not repulsive. They all have a purpose and they fit in in some way. And these animals consume so many insects, if you find one around your house, that's the job he's doing."

That's Edward Castillo, the museum's assistant curator of zoology. He says around here, you're most likely to spot the green tree frog or the Gulf Coast toad hopping around your back yard and it's a good idea to think about all the pesticides and fertilizers you're putting into your friendly neighborhood frog's natural habitat.

"A characteristic of being an amphibian is they have very, very delicate porous skin and it's very absorbent. And if people can think of them as environmental sponges then maybe they'll really see how vulnerable they are."

So want to promote healthy frog lifestyles and cut down on insects around your house, all at the same time? It's all about what you put in your yard.

"Some type of water componant, whether it be a pond or some type of fountain. If you just maintain your garden very well and of course watering your plants, that is really beneficial to a lot of animals. I would always encourage people to plant native - native grasses, native plants, native trees. They require a lot less fertilizers because they're supposed to be here. Most importantly watch those chemicals, always go organic."

You can see pictures and find out more about the Frogs exhibit on our website, KUHF.org. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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