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‘Fantastic Frogs’ springs into Discovery Place

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/19/34/IpxGz.Em.138.jpeg|232
    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    A Chinese gliding frog calmly hangs on to the side of the glass display case on opening day of Discovery Place’s “Fantastic Frogs” exhibit on Saturday. The exhibit features 100 frogs, representing 30 species from around the world, and are displayed in three sections: defense, camouflage and movement.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/19/34/jHl1i.Em.138.jpeg|202
    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Seven-year-old Carly McMillan, rear, offers a wide-eyed exclamation toward Maddie McMillan, 10. The two, both of Fort Mill, S.C., gazed on the wood frog display Saturday during opening day of the “Fantastic Frogs” exhibit at Discovery Place.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/19/34/8V5Gt.Em.138.jpeg|192
    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Spectators meander throughout the colorful displays of different types of frogs on Saturday’s opening of the exhibit at Discovery Place. Frogs “have their own natural superpowers,” said Kaitlin Rogers, Discovery Place manager of public relations and marketing.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/19/34/TLRDZ.Em.138.jpeg|219
    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    An American bullfrog stares unblinkingly from behind greenery in its prime spot at Discovery Place. One section of the exhibit, which opened Saturday, is called “Masters of Disguise” and illustrates how frogs use camouflage to fool potential predators.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/19/34/ULW8c.Em.138.jpeg|207
    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    A Dyeing poison dart frog struts around its habitat on Saturday. The Discovery Place exhibit runs through August 2015 and encompasses 3,500 square feet of the museum.

More Information

  • Discovery Place, Summer 2014

    • “Alien Worlds and Androids.” Opens June 28. Interactive technology exhibit.

    • Alien Worlds: A Star Tour. Every Saturday in July. Trek through the solar system in the inflatable Starlab Planetarium.

    • “The LEGO movie,” July 11. The movie along with hands-on science fun.

    • Science on the Rocks event, July 18 and Aug. 15. After-hours experience at Discovery Place just for adults.

    • “D-Day: Normandy 1944.” Opens Aug. 22 at The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre.

    Discovery Place is at 301 N. Tryon St. For more information call 704-372-6261 or go to www.discoveryplace.org.



Charlotte’s Discovery Place opened its “Fantastic Frogs” exhibit on Saturday, launching a series of varied summer programs and activities.

“It’s going to be a busy summer,” said Kaitlin Rogers, Discovery Place manager of public relations and marketing. “A summer of wonder. That’s part of our mission: striving to ignite wonder.”

Making its third appearance at Discovery Place, the popular frogs exhibit tells the stories of live frogs from all over the world – with names like Pac-Man frog, tomato frog, poison dart frog and Solomon Island Leaf frog.

The 3,500-square-foot exhibit focuses on how these creatures move, create disguises, defend themselves and survive in the winter. It includes illustrations of frog species and their environments mixed with facts, information and videos.

About 100 live frogs are on display in their natural habitats. Three times a week, depending on the species, most are fed fruits, flies and crickets.

The softball-sized marine toad – nicknamed “Hulk” – prefers nightcrawlers and cave cockroaches.

“Feeding is quite an endeavor,” said Rogers. “It’s not easy.”

One section of the exhibit is called “Masters of Disguise” and illustrates how frogs use camouflage to fool potential predators.

Rogers used Vietnamese Mossy frogs as examples. About 2-3 inches long, the frogs are hard to see because they blend in with the moss in their habitat.

So are the Solomon Island leaf frogs.

“They look like dead leaves,” Rogers said. “You have to take time to sit and look for them. They’re doing what they do in the wild – blending in. And they do it very well.”

Rogers said frogs “have their own natural superpowers.”

The skittering frog – fast and light – can walk on water, effortlessly darting across the surface.

“Fantastic Frogs,” which will be around until August 2015, got an enthusiastic reception from visitors Saturday.

“Oh my goodness. There he is,” Chris Pfeiffer told his 5-year-old son Calvin as he pointed to a Pac-Man frog. “He’s a nice one.”

The Pfeiffers, from Detroit, were first-time visitors to Charlotte. Chris Pfeiffer, who also had 10-year-old daughter Lila on hand, called Discovery Place “really neat.”

Dick Barron, 69, and his wife Peggy, 68, of Williamsburg, Va., brought their grandchildren to the Tryon Street museum.

“We do this every year – take the kids on a vacation,” said Dick Barron. “It’s education, plus fun. Discovery Place was the educational part. Going to the Charlotte Motor Speedway was fun for me.”

Maybe Grandpa thought the frog exhibit was educational. But one of the grandkids, Ashlyn Herring, 12, of Newport News, Va., called it “really cool.”

Her favorite: the poison dart frog.

Really? Cool.

DePriest: 704-868-7745
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