Green Tree Monitor

These lizards are found on the island of New Guinea and in Northern Australia. They live in palm stands and rainforests with humidity levels reaching over 70%. Green Tree Monitors can reach lengths of 3 feet, with their tails being twice the length of their bodies. This tail is prehensile and helps grip tree branches while climbing.

In the wild they would eat tree dwelling insects, frogs, geckos, small mammals and birds. They are the only known monitor lizard species to be omnivorous – meaning that they eat both vegetation and animal matter.

Under human care they can live up to 15 years.

Amazon Milk Frog

NOTE: Education Animals are “behind-the-scenes” animals & only appear to the public during Educational events. This includes scheduled events or programs such as daily animal mingles, private onsite programs, and zoo reaches. For more information, please reach out to edureservations@lvzoo.org.

Program and General Information

The name “milk frog” does not refer to their coloration; it refers to the poisonous secretions this frog may secrete when threatened. This secretion is not only used to deter predators but it is used to also keep the frog hydrated.

Other Common Names: Mission Golden-eyed Tree Frog, Blue Milk Frog, Boatman Frog

Common Physical Features

Amazon milk frogs are a light gray color with patterns of brown or black banding. Juveniles show stronger contrast which fades as they age. Their skin may become bumpy with age. They range from 2.5 – 4 inches in length and are one of the largest frogs in South America. They are sexually dimorphic in size; the males are smaller than the females. Amazon milk frogs have large toe pads that allow for excellent climbing. The name “milk frog” does not refer to their coloration; it refers to the poisonous secretions this frog may secrete when threatened. This secretion is not only used to deter predators but it is used to also keep the frog hydrated.

Habitat and Global Range

Amazon milk frogs are found in Northern South America. They are commonly found in the countries of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. These frogs will spend their entire lives in the tropical rainforest canopy. They will rarely, if ever, descend to the ground. This frog prefers to live close to slow moving waterways.

Diet

Insects, other invertebrates, and other small amphibians

Behavior and Life Cycle

Breeding takes place between November and May. The male frog externally fertilizes a clutch of about 2,000 eggs in a gelatinous mass floating in water. The egg mass may also be deposited in water trapped in a tree cavity. Eggs will hatch within one day, and metamorphosis from a tadpole to juvenile adult takes about three weeks.

Primarily nocturnal, this frog spends his days hiding from predators in the leafy canopy of the rainforest. They emerge at night to hunt nocturnal insects

Fun Facts

  • Their Latin name, Trachycephalus, refers to their long snouts which are used for pushing aside leaves and branches and allowing this nocturnal frog to tuck itself into tight hiding places during the day.
  • Milky Tree frogs are arboreal and spend their lives in trees and other plants. Milky tree frogs have special toe-pads on their feet to help them climb plants. They can hold up to 14 times the animal’s body weight.

Conservation Messaging

Amazon milk frogs are not a significantly threatened species at this time, but current loss of habitat due to agriculture and logging could lead to future endangerment.

Masai Giraffe

Masai giraffes are natively found in East Africa – Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Somalia. They are one of 7 species of giraffe. They reside in grassland and savannah regions. They are endangered with less than 35,000 individuals left in the wild. Main threats to their population include habitat loss, climate change, and poaching.

In the wild, their diet includes browse from leaves, twigs, sprouts, flowers, fruit, & bark of trees in the savannah. At the Lehigh Valley Zoo their diet includes timothy and alfalfa hay, tree browse (such as sugar maple, autumn olive, honey locust, and honeysuckle), wild herbivore grain, fruits and veggies. They do eat for 16-20 hours a day. Because of this, they have an 18 inch long dark purple/black colored tongue. The dark colored tongue helps prevent sunburn!

Giraffe are herd animals and will live in either a family herd or bachelor herd.
Giraffe gestation is about 15 months. The calf is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds at birth. They are able to walk within the first half hour.

Male Masai Giraffe can reach heights of 17-19 feet and weigh between 2000 and 3000 pounds. Females are smaller at 16-18 feet in height and weigh 1300 to 2000 pounds. Masai giraffes are the darkest species of giraffe and are known for their “maple leaf” like spots. Each spot pattern is unique to that particular giraffe. Besides offering camouflage, these spots also aid with thermoregulation.

Masai giraffes can live approximately 25 years under human care.

Axolotl

Axolotls live in two freshwater lakes in the middle of Mexico City. Expanding human populations compete for this freshwater resource, with pollution contributing to this salamander’s decline. Researchers are trying to help the axolotl by building “shelters” in Xochimilico with stacks of rocks and reedy plants to help filter clean water that is pumped in.

Wild axolotls are typically dark in color. They have the ability to shift their hue a few shades lighter or darker as needed for camouflage! Pink and light-colored animals are bred in captivity as pets.

Fun Fact: The word “axolotl” comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs and means “water dog.” Its mythological connection is to Xolotl, the god of fire, lightning, deformities, and death

Tawny Frogmouth

These nocturnal birds have cryptic, drab-colored plumage and they roost themselves vertically in a tree with their bills to the sky during the day, giving them the ability to camouflage to look like a broken branch!

In order to protect and defend their chicks, a male tawny frogmouth will ruffle up his plumage, as well as hiss and snap his impressive bill at a potential predator.

Unlike owls, tawny frogmouths have short, weak legs and feet, so they hunt prey by scanning the ground from low perches in their territory. Once located, they glide down and pounce on it, snapping it up in their powerful bills, and return to the same perch to eat it. They have a wingspan of 18-24 inches.

Domestic Chicken

About: Domestic chickens vary greatly in appearance due to breed, though they share common traits: squat stature, rounded bodies, dense feathers, and wattles of flesh around the face. Adult roosters (males) have distinct combs of red flesh and striking plumage including flowing tails and shiny, pointed feathers. Roosters may also have spurs on their legs, which they employ in battles with other males. With some breeds, a “beard” of feathers is prominent under the chicken’s face. There are ‘bantam’ breeds, a smaller variety of chicken, and some breeds have tail feathers that span several feet long!

Life Cycle/ Social Structure Chickens have very sophisticated social behavior with a dominance hierarchy where higher individuals dominate subordinate individuals. This is where the term “pecking order” comes from! The dominant male protects the females (hens) and they choose to feed close to him for safety. Roosters are generous when it comes to food-the males may call to their hens when he finds food, prompting them to eat first. This behavior is also seen with hens and their chicks.

Toggenburg Goat

The Toggenburg Goat is named after the region in Switzerland where the breed originated from, the Toggenburg Valley. They are credited as being the oldest known dairy goat breed. This goat was brought into England in 1884. In 1893, William A Shafer of Ohio imported 4 Toggenburg goats into the United States. By 1921 there were enough Toggenburg goats in the United States to establish a foundation stock. They were the first breed of goat to be registered in the U.S. They are very friendly goats and are generally quiet and gentle.