Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wild at Heart: The Frog

Tonight is the opening of "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," the endangered species benefit that Andrew Hosner and I are co-curating at Thinkspace. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Hope to see you there!

Mia Brownell "Still Life with Cochlea Translating on Helix"

There are more than 5,000 species of frogs in the world, as various as the sapphire-blue Poison Dart Frog, the transparent Crystal Frog, and the leaflike Chile Darwin’s Frog. In ancient Egypt, the frog was a symbol of fertility, as millions of frogs would be born after the annual inundation of the Nile, which brought fertility to the barren land. The Egyptians worshipped a frog-goddess called Heqet, who presided over matters of procreation and childbirth.

Despite their marvelous variety, the frogs of the world are facing vast and overwhelming threats to their survival as a species, including water pollution and acidification, habitat reduction from dam construction, irrigation and climate change, introduced diseases such as the devastating chytrid fungus, the herbicide Atrazine and the soft plastics component Bisphenol, both of which chemically castrate frogs, introduced predators such as sport fishes and the cane toad, and poaching for the international pet trade. It is believed that at least 170 species of frog have become extinct in the past 10 years, and thousands more are on the brink, including the Panamanian Golden Frog, the Poison Dart Frog, the Interior Robber Frog, the Mountain Chicken Frog, the Crystal Frog, the Harlequin Mantella and the Table Mountain Ghost Frog.

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