Frogs Educate and Fascinate Museum Goers in Pittsfield, MA

Frogs: A Chorus of Color at the Berkshire Museum

Waxy Monkey Frog

Waxy Monkey Frog - South American monkey frogs climb through trees with grasping feet. The waxy monkey frog is unusual in its preference for hot, dry conditions. By recycling water in its kidneys, the frog is able to avoid expelling precious moisture in the form of urine. It also gives itself a rubdown with a waxy secretion to limit water loss through the skin. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

This week we went to the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA. Following a wonderful production of Wind in the Willows by Berkshire Theater Festival in their auditorium, we went upstairs to check-out their exhibit, Frogs: A Chorus of Color.

Wow! This is an impressive show that is both educational and visually stunning. Through a dazzling display of photos, frog colors and textures, audible enhancements with an array of calls from different frog species, visitors explore a wide variety of living frogs from all over the world. The exhibit contains 15 different varieties of live frogs, all in self-contained custom habitats that are precisely replicated and include rock ledges, live plants, and waterfalls for the frogs to thrive in.

My seven year old daughter was very interested to see large live frogs, like the African and American Bullfrogs, that are so big they include birds and mice in their diets. And the tiny, cute yellow Poison Dart Frog that has enough poison to kill 10 people!

Studying Frogs

Stunning backlit graphic panels with colorful images of frogs cover the walls, and interactive components invite visitors to activate recorded frog calls, view videos of frogs jumping, swimming or gliding from dizzying heights, spin a zoetrope, and test new-found frog knowledge on subjects from the most basic to the totally bizarre, such as the difference between a toad and a frog. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The museum offers a scavenger hunt as part of the exhibit with their Frog Finder kit that asks questions like, “How do Waxy Monkey Frogs prevent water loss during hot dry weather?,” and “How many Mossy Frog were you able to find in the exhibit?” I found this really compelled kids to study each station and to come away with a full educational experience, learning about a frogs basic biology, ecology and lifecycles.

Kids went from station to station, looking for answers to their Frog Finder Sheets as the Waxy Monkey Frogs hung on branches like little green amphibious looking primates, and the bizarre lichen looking Vietnamese Mossy Frog offered challenges for students to find them in their mossy habitats.

When we left we stopped by the Pittsfield Library to check out books on frogs to read when we got home. This show is truly inspiring to all who enjoy natural history.  The show runs through November 1st, 2009.

To see more photos from our visit to the Berkshire Museum, click here.

2 Comments on “Frogs Educate and Fascinate Museum Goers in Pittsfield, MA

  1. Look for Discounts

    “Admit One Child with One Purchase of One Paying Adult”
    now available for Frogs: A Chorus of Colors

    Look for Berkshire Museum discount coupons at the following locations:

    Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield)
    Hot Harry’s Fresh Burritos (37 North Street, Pittsfield)
    Frelinghuysen Morris Gallery (92 Hawthorne Street, Lenox)
    Juice & Java (2 South Street, Pittsfield)

  2. Chow Time

    Don’t forget Chow Time. On Tuesdays and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. in the Museum aquarium, Museum staff feed the animals, usually letting one out for people to interact with. A great way to get to know some of our animals and for kids to see one of our creatures up close and personal.

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