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24 July 2006

Amphibians, Reptiles Get Day in the Spotlight

Saturday's program on amphibians and reptiles at the Anniston Museum of Natural History featured a talk by Dr. George Cline, a.k.a. Dr. Frog, the resident herpetologist at Jacksonville State University. Cline's talk on frogs drew “oohs,” “ahs” and shouts of “cool!” from the younger members in the audience. Cline said that Alabama has between 140 and 150 species of reptile and amphibians, putting it in the top five states in the United States.

Cline entertained the crowd by reproducing the sounds of different frog species; one “sounds like somebody's plucking the strings on a banjo,” another “like running a finger over a comb,” he said. He added that declining numbers of frogs the world over have scientists worried about the effects of climate change on reptile and amphibian populations. But he added that there is still time to repair the situation.

The event, which also featured live lizards, turtles, alligators and frogs was part of the Fresh Air Family, a state-wide program that encourages outdoor activity. Gina Morey, programs manager for the museum, agreed that it is important to get children interested in the natural world.

See story at The Anniston Star's website:

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