It can be very difficult to try and protect the amphibians in your pond over the winter. The frogs, and occasionally newts, that choose to overwinter in the pond risk becoming trapped if ice forms and, sadly, it’s natural for a few to die. To minimise deaths from ‘winterkill’ try to clear fallen snow from the ice, so that light can still reach the plants in the pond and they can continue to produce oxygen. If you have a pump, leaving this running throughout the winter can also help.
Researchers have found that some frogs in Madagascar communicate by more than just sound and sight: they create distinct airborne pheromones, which are secreted chemicals used for communicating with others.
Two newly discovered frog species are considered the smallest ever found. The pipsqueaks live in Papua New Guinea and run about 0.4 inches (8-to-9 millimeters) in length. The two species, Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa, are not only the smallest frogs ever discovered, they are also the smallest of a group of animals called tetrapods (four-legged animals with backbones).
If you thought estate agents knew how to sell a house, take a look at male Emei music frogs. They attract a mate by singing the praises of the burrows they have dug. Other than humans, they are the only animal known to advertise their homes in their calls.
Click the link to listen to the music of the frogs :-)
The secret to frogs’ superlative jumping lies in their tendons. Researchers filming frogs jumping at 500 frames per second with special X-ray technology showed that the frog's tendon stretches as it readies its leap and then recoils, much like a spring, when the frog jumps. The finding could explain how other animals are exceptional leapers.
A new initiative by the conservation group, Amphibian Ark, hopes to match lonely, vanishing frogs with a prince/princess to to save them. Dubbed FrogMatchMaker.com after online dating sites, the program is working to connect supporters and donors with amphibian conservation programs in need. Currently, amphibians are among the world's most imperiled species with 41 percent threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red list.
As part of the new series of animal conservation-based talks being hosted, the next one arranged is to be given by myself on the 10th November. This will cover in detail many aspects of the unusual biology of rare and endangered amphibians, and also highlight the work being undertaken by the Manchester Museum in support of their conservation.
A team of researchers has discovered a new species of limbless amphibian from Western Ghats in India. The new species Ichthyophis davidi is one of the largest known yellow striped caecilians from Western Ghats and is named in honour of David Gower, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, London.
Western Ghats, one of the global biodiversity ‘hot spots’, support 25 species of legless amphibians (the caecilians). Habitat destruction, due to human interference, and usage of chemical fertilizers in the plantations (areca, banana and cardamom) according to him is limiting the distribution of these limbless amphibians in Western Ghats. Conservation of the forested patches adjacent to plantations and usage of organic manure in the plantations next to forested patches are the best means to safe protect the caecilians in Western Ghats.
Dotty, who is an Argentine horned frog measuring a massive five inches wide, laid more than 1,000 eggs on Wednesday. They hatched the next day. Within three weeks they will have grown to small froglets and after a year they will match their mother in size. What is a concern to breeder Steve Cantle, 45, who works at pet shop Petzotic in Baker Street, Enfield, is that this unusual species of frog will attempt to eat anything that comes its way, including one of its own kind.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) this week granted the Ozark hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but made the unusual decision not to declare critical habitat for the rare, giant salamanders because, it said, doing so could open it to threats from those who would illegally collect the species for the international pet trade.
Spotted salamanders exposed to contaminated roadside ponds are adapting to their toxic environments, according to a Yale paper in Scientific Reports. This study provides the first documented evidence that a vertebrate has adapted to the negative effects of roads apparently by evolving rapidly.
Scientists and the public usually rejoice when a new species is discovered. But biologist Bryan Stuart has learned the hard way that the discovery of new species, especially when that species is commercially valuable, has a dark side-one that could potentially wipe out the new species before protections can be put in place.
If the current rapid extermination of animals, plants and other species really is the "sixth mass extinction", then it is the amphibian branch of the tree of life that is undergoing the most drastic pruning. In research described as "terrifying" by an independent expert, scientists predict the future for frogs, toads, newts and salamanders is even more bleak than conservationists had realised. Around half of amphibian species are in decline, while a third are already threatened with extinction. But scientists now predict that areas with the highest diversity of amphibian species will be under the most intense threat in the future.
In a new survey in Conservation Biology, 99.5 percent of conservation scientists said a serious loss in biodiversity was either 'likely', 'very likely', or 'virtually certain'. The prediction of a significant loss of species is not surprising—scientists have been warning for decades that if global society continues with business as usual the world will suffer from mass extinction—what is perhaps surprising is the practically unanimous expectation that a global biodiversity decline will occur.
The consequences of climate change for animals can seem very direct, as with polar bears in a warming Arctic. Others involve leaps, like the case of an invasive bullfrog: by 2080, it could splash into some of South America’s most ecologically rich protected areas, disrupting unique hotbeds of biodiversity.
Salamanders can snatch up prey in a few thousandths of a second - striking out with elastic tongues. Scientists have now found that the amphibians, which depend on the ambient temperature to heat their muscles, maintain this strike speed in the cold. But, as footage of the animals has revealed, low temperatures do slow the retraction of their deadly tongues.