Connecting Animal Health to You: Amphibian Chytrid Fungus
Chytrid is a dangerous fungal infection found in amphibians that causes thickening of the skin. Because amphibians absorb moisture, electrolytes and oxygen through their skin, changes in the skin can have deadly effects. Chytrid has been linked to worldwide amphibian population declines and has been detected here in North Carolina. Our live animal collection must be constantly monitored, and incoming animals are screened for this fungus to preserve the health of our amphibian collections here at the Museum.
Follow along as Museum scientists use DNA testing to screen our resident amphibians for Chytrid fungus.
Meet a scientist
Daily Planet Theater
Learn about Chytrid fungus and its impacts on amphibians. Information is also available all day in the areas noted below.
Window on Animal Health (2nd floor, NRC)
12:30, 1pm, 1:30, 2pm, 2:30 and 3pm
Watch as our veterinary staff performs health examinations on our resident frogs and collects samples for genetic testing. (Collection of sample swabs for Chytrid fungus testing.)
Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab (3rd floor, NRC)
- Learn about the DNA testing used to analyze swabs for the presence of Chytrid fungus
- Watch as scientists analyze vet lab samples for Chytrid fungus
- Talk to a scientist about the DNA testing and results
Investigate Lab: Micro World (3rd floor, NRC)
Do it yourself!
- Practice swab sampling of model amphibians
- Learn how samples are processed by the genetics team
- See which model animals "test positive" for Chytrid fungus.
Photo by Mike Dunn.