The frog with freezing abilities

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    We don’t mean that one up there. Keep reading to find out more.

    In honor of Save the Frogs Day, April 30, we’re celebrating species of frogs that depend on a very unique habitat—vernal pools

    Vernal pools are shallow depressional wetlands that appear seasonally in meadows and woodlands and serve as important breeding grounds for amphibians like frogs. These unique wetlands usually collect water in the winter and spring and typically dry up by the end of summer.

    Since vernal pools are usually not filled with water year-round, fish cannot inhabit them. This makes vernal pools prime habitat for frogs like the ones below because there aren’t any fish to eat their eggs and tadpoles!

    Wood Frog

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    The wood frog ranges from New England, the Appalachians and the Great Lake states to as far north as the Arctic Circle. To survive, they possess the surprising ability to freeze!

    During cold winter months, they cease breathing, their heart stops and nearly 70 percent of their body water turns to ice. As ice crystals form beneath their skin, they produce a substance that acts as an anti-freeze, allowing them to stay alive.

    As the weather warms in early spring, the frogs thaw out and head to vernal pools to find mates, sometimes even before the ice has fully melted. They’re the first frogs to herald in the spring with strange voices that sound similar to a duck quacking.

    To be continued…

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