2009 was a rough year for everyone. Possibly the least popular year of the decade. One of the biggest let-downs I experienced in 2009 was the delayed opening for the Fort Worth Zoo's Museum of Living Art. Before I explain, allow me to remind you that my family visited the Ft. Worth Zoo last year with intentions of seeing some progress on this world-class project. Unfortunately, it appeared that delays had pushed its opening to sometime this spring.
What the heck am I talking about, pray tell? Only the construction of the world's most awesome herpetarium (like an aquarium, but for reptiles and amphibians)! This thing's going to be huge - probably the largest in the world (both in square footage, number of species, and possibly number of individuals).
When the zoo's current herpetarium opened in 1960, it held more species of reptiles and amphibians than any other facility. Throughout it's history, the staff have been responsible for the breeding of several individuals, included many rare and endangered species. This new facility will continue their previous vision, but with the world-class resources deserving of their world class efforts. In addition to housing more species than any other facility, the MOLA will continue and expand upon their significant conservation efforts for amphibians (If you would like to know more about their conservation efforts, read this article here).
The MOLA will have several different "habitat" areas for viewing by patrons, including a deserts, swamplands, and rain forests. Just check out this huge list of species the MOLA will be keeping, or should I say curating? If that doesn't get you salivating, you can view the online floor-plan for the new facility which indicates generally what will be exhibited. For zoo activity in the new decade, keep an eye out for the MOLA.
Here are two shinglebacks in the Fort Worth Zoo's current herpetarium. Shinglebacks are highly monogamous (single pair breeders). There are cases of them breeding with their mate (to the exclusion of other individuals) for up to twenty years: