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Showing posts from February, 2011

Turtles of the Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center, Part 1

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Visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Garden are often surprised to learn there are so many turtles living in the 'Gardens Under Glass' — the conservatory and orchid center. The turtles, frogs, salamanders and birds in the conservatory create a natural feeling inside, while reminding us that all living things — plants and animals alike — need each other in order to survive.

There are 7 species of turtle and you can find them in every room in the conservatory (Tropical rotunda, High elevation house and Low elevation house)


And lastly, (as this is only part one) we have Pink-belly side-neck turtles in the OC pond. Side-neck turtles represent a large group of turtles, restricted to the southern hemisphere, that can not pull their heads inside their shells (like all of the turtles found in GA, for example)

Here is a picture of all 3 of our side neck turtles basking in their pond. Next time you are here, notice their yellow head markings and salmon colored plastron (belly shell). A very …

a frog in the pod

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This critically endangered species was first bred in captivity here at the Garden. One component of the research we do in the Department of Research and Conservation is simply learning how to keep these, and other endangered frog species alive, healthy and breeding.


No two frog species have the exact same care requirements, and the advancements we make here with our conservation collection are shared with institutions and individuals around the world, including the regions where frogs are particularly threatened.

Species Spotlight: Phantasmal Poison frog

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One of the things that Edward (one of our volunteers) and I love to do on Sundays is look for frogs throughout the Conservatory, usually while we are trying to round up all 4 Ornate Wood Turtles (Rhinoclemmys) to make sure they get a nice veggie breakfast. One or two of the wood turtles can typically be found basking on the rocks towards the front of the rotunda, but it can be challenging to find all 4!

Here is a juvenile Epipidobatestricolor we found in the Conservatory yesterday. Usually, the juvenile phantasmal poison frogs we find aren't as colorful as this one sitting in Edward's hand. It normally takes these frogs a few months to acquire this dramatic adult coloration—which might signify that the frog is becoming ready to breed.


Can you spot the poison frog in this picture? We have blown it up on the right to help. About 30 frogs were released into the Conservatory in the mid-90's and they are still thriving here today! One typically has to go to the mountains of Ecua…

Colors in the conservatory lobby

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Yesterday was the opening of our new 'Liquid Landscapes' exhibits throughout the Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center. Lots of visitors crowded the garden and we had about 80 people attend our Saturday frog feeding!

Here are some of the vibrant poison frogs we have on display. Most poison frogs are somewhat bold, but a few of the frogs in our Okipipi exhibit can be on the shy side (especially the 'azureus morph' or blue poison frog) so I am including some of the frogs that happened to be out today.

Phyllobates terribilis, the Terrible poison frog. Named as such because it is one of the few frogs lethal to humans (in the wild)
Dendrobates tinctorius, the Sipaliwini morph. Frogs of this species vary tremendously in color, with differing amounts of blues, blacks, whites, and yellows depending on where in South America their home is. The different variations are often called 'morphs' which are separated geographically.
The yellow morph of Phyllobates terribilis. Frog…