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Reptile and Amphibian Appreciation Day at L.A. County's Natural History Museum

October 8, 2011 |  3:37 pm

Got frogs?

This year’s lineup at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s third annual Reptile and Amphibian Appreciation Day on Sunday, Oct. 9, features a 100-pound reticulated python, a king cobra, a four-pound pixie frog, three-horned chameleons and slithering examples of all of the native rattlesnake species found in California.

The star of the show, however, may be a lone Western spadefoot toad recently discovered in a Chatsworth marsh.

Spadefoot toads, which get their name from a distinctive hard, black projection on the underside of each hind foot, had not been seen in the area for more than a decade.

“The herpetological community is very excited about this cute little guy,” said Leslie Gordon, manager of vertebrate live animal programs at the museum. “It suggests there is at least one place left in the greater Los Angeles area where spadefoot toads are still hanging on.”

The event will offer a chance to meet federal biologists, reptile breeders and local “herp club” representatives and to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum’s herpetological collection.

Then there is special guest speaker Sean P. Bush, a professor of emergency medicine at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and an expert on the treatment of stings and bites.

His topic: Venom ER.





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-- Louis Sahagun


Photo: A Western spadefoot toad. Credit: Illustration by Dugald Stermer/For The Times