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Photo Feature By Dave Howell

Venomous Organisms of Little River Canyon

Dr. Rayburn

James R. Rayburn, JSU assistant professor of biology and environmental toxicologist, presented a free two-day workshop at DeSoto State Park Campground July 8 and 9. On Saturday he presented a lecture on venomous organisms of Alabama and explored how some plants' and animals' special lines of defenses can cause pain, injury, or even death to humans. The lecture was held in the campground newly renovated Fire Ring.


Sherri Groghan, Desoto State Park employee, grants the honor of ringing the ceremonial campground Fire Ring bell to Madisyn Huerstel, 5, of Chalmette, Louisiana. The bell signals a ten minute warning to all campers in the park to let them know the demonstration is about to begin.

Katlin Rayburn

Katlin Rayburn helps her father pass out tadpoles to the children in the audience. Several children adopted the future frogs and were given strict instructions on how to raise them. The species, African Claw Frogs, are not indigenous to the area.


Alexander Howell, 5, poses a question to a State Park employee about dangerous creatures in the wild specifically, poisonous snakes.


Friday night, Dr. Rayburn presented a lecture on amphibians. In this workshop, he explored the topic of how amphibians transform from a single cell to the jumping creatures they grow to be. He also discussed problems faced by all animals during their development. The frog pictured here was caught by Kelli Wilson who attended the workshop.



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