7 posts tagged Amphibians
7 posts tagged Amphibians
Is that a frog riding a squirrel? Why yes it is! Neatorama contributor John Farrier recently shared some fascinating photos taken at Le Musée des grenouilles, The Frog Museum in Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland. If you’re in the mood for some whimsical amphibian taxidermy (and why wouldn’t you be?), then this is the place for you.
For obvious reasons, this awesome piece that includes a stuffed and bridled squirrel is our favourite. We’ll disregard his nakedness simply because the world didn’t have Squirrel Underpants back in the 1800s.
The frogs were collected and mounted by François Perrier during the mid-19th century:
“François Perrier loved frogs. From 1848 to 1860, he collected and preserved 108 of them engaging in decidedly non-batrachian behavior, such as attending school, marching in formation and riding squirrels.”
Head over to Neatorama to view more scenes of mid-19th century French life satirically depicted using stuffed frogs. It might just be the strangest thing you see today.
It’s amazing how much awesomeness can emanate from such a teeny-tiny frog. This wee critter is a Limosa Harlequin Frog (Atelopus limosus), an endangered species native to Panama that’s being given a fighting chance thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. They are successfully breeding these minuscule amphibians in captivity for the very first time.
The rescue project is raising nine healthy frogs from one mating pair and hundreds of tadpoles from another pair. “These frogs represent the last hope for their species,” said Brian Gratwicke, international coordinator for the project and a research biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, one of six project partners. “This new generation is hugely inspiring to us as we work to conserve and care for this species and others.”
Read more about the efforts to save these little froglings over at ZooBorns.
It’s time for another visit to the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders. These pretty amphibians with perfectly transparent underbellies are called Glass frogs. They live in the cloud forests of South america, are one of the relatively small number of species where the fathers exclusively care for the young, and scientists are still trying to figure out why they evolved to have transparent tummies.
Complete transparency has evolved multiple independent times. This suggests that a translucent underbelly provides some evolutionary advantage. Juan Manuel Guayasamin, an evolutionary biologist who studies glassfrogs extensively as a researcher at Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica’s Center for Research on Biodiversity and Climate Change, explains:
“Most frogs are not transparent because this would expose organs to the deleterious effects of sunlight and heat.” But in transparent glassfrogs, key organs like the liver and digestive tract are covered by a thin layer of light-reflecting organelles called iridiphores. These iridescent cellular subunits may provide a layer of protection from heat and sunlight, a feature that Guayasamin says could give glassfrogs the ability to optimize their internal homeostasis by simply moving about, “covering each organ at a time, as opposed to the entire body cavity.”
Guayasamin says another hypothesis holds that transparency evolved to help glassfrogs avoid predators (an ability commonly referred to as “crypsis”). ”Most glassfrogs are green and reflect light almost as a leaf. For predators (and amphibiologists), it is quite difficult to find a glassfrog if it is not, for example, calling.”
You can even see their hearts beating inside their bodies. That’s pretty awesome.
“Four mutant frogs with gold skin and red eyes, found by children in a grassy field in the town of Shimanto in Kochi prefecture, have gone on display at the nearby Shimanto River Gakuyukan science center. According to a center spokesperson who says the golden specimens are highly unusual, the 2.4-centimeter (almost 1-inch) amphibians appear to be black-spotted pond frogs (Pelophylax nigromaculata, a.k.a. Rana nigromaculata) whose skin turned gold because of an albino mutation that prevents the formation of pigment cells. With a run of bad luck that has brought shrinking visitor numbers and a recent theft of 1.25 million yen (about $10,000), the center hopes the golden frogs are a sign of good fortune to come. Oddly, they look sort of like feng shui money frogs (Chan Chu), except that money frogs have three legs.”
[via Pink Tentacle]
Please pay no attention to the enormous toad lurking in the corner of the room. He thinks he’s successfully hiding under a blanket, you see, and doesn’t realize that his blanket is much too small. The toad won’t bother you as long as you don’t bother the toad and, really, you don’t want to bother a toad of this size.
What an awesome discovery!
“The Bornean Rainbow Toad (Ansonia latidisca) has been rediscovered in Malaysia. The toad, which is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, hasn’t been seen by humans since 1924. After an 87 year hiatus, many believed the toad had perhaps gone extinct.
The toad was spotted and photographed by Indraneil Das of the University of Malaysia, Sarawak. The toad is endangered due to the loss of its natural habitat due to logging. It is also highly prized as a pet due to its amazing rainbow coloring. Because of this, Das has not released the exact location where he spotted the toad to prevent people from going after them.
Das has experience finding rare amphibians. He also found Malaysia’s smallest frog, roughly the size of a pea, in what he says is the same area last year.”
Wait, what was that? A pea-sized frog?! That’s also awesome! Make sure you click the link to check it out!