In an exhibit it calls "toadally ribbiting," Shedd Aquarium has opened "Amphibians."
The exhibit, which runs through 2017 and which Walgreens is sponsoring, features 40 species of salamanders, frogs, toads and wormlike caecilians. Some parts of the exhibit are interactive, while other areas showcase animals such as tadpoles, sirens, an African bullfrog, the cane toad ( which weighs up to three pounds ) and the Japanese giant salamander ( the second-largest salamander species in the world, behind the Chinese giant salamander ).
Here are some fun facts about amphibians:
Depending on the species, amphibians lay anywhere from a single egg to up to 15,000 at a time.
When threatened, the tomato frog puffs itself up into a rounded tomato shape and releases milky poison from its skin.
Axolotls retain external gills their entire life, even though they also have lungs, and never leave the water, making them unique among salamanders.
The mudpuppy ( which can grow up to a foot long ) is listed as a threatened species in Iowa and Illinois; extirpated in Maryland; and of special concern in Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. Shedd is conducting field research in partnership with Southern Illinois University-Carbondale to find out more about these mysterious salamanders, which inhabit Lake Michigan and seem to be more active during the winter ( unique among amphibians ).
Visit www.sheddaquarium.org/ .