You’d think that the mating call of a phantasmal poison dart frog would be a plaintful, eerie wailing, drifting softly across the swamp, slowly fading into the thin tendrils of fog, trailing into nothingness until they tease nothing but the nascent ears of snakes.
This is probably the best photo I’ve ever taken of a wild frog.
I’m sure I looked weird crawling on the ground at the zoo when I saw him, but I don’t much care.
Despite it’s name, this frog is not actually mossy.
One interesting thing about captive breeding is that your captive population is often based on the genetics of the initial individuals collected … often decades ago.
The golden poison dart frog is green (according to the zookeeper I talked to) because, in the wild, there are green ones and there are gold ones. Apparently, the green ones were easier to capture, so most of the ones you see in zoos are green.
This has started to change, as more frogs are being captured to help protect them against the chytrid fungus, so the genetic diversity of the captive population has increased.
Frogs are good at choosing lipstick colours.
This salamander is wondering why narrators are always talking about how this building or that can “be seen from space”.
“If we can see can see OGLE-2014-BLG-0124Lb, 76,422,100,000,000,000 miles* away, seeing something from orbit is nothing to brag about.
Even factoring in relative sizes, at half the mass of Jupiter, assuming similar density, OGLE-2014-BLG-0124Lb would have a diameter of 68,957.812 miles.
So, from a low earth orbit of 200 miles up, you should be able to see things that are 0.0000000001805 miles wide. That’s 0.00001143 inches … smaller than a human hair.”
Salamanders think they understand satellite imagery, but they really don’t.
* Converted to Western measurement for American readers. Salamanders still work in aṅgulas.
Tomato frogs seldom get any riper than this. Think of them as an heirloom variety.
Frogs have been around for a long time. They’ve seen humans learn to play with sticks. They’ve seen humans push those sticks into the mud to make pictures. They’ve seen those pictures turn into simplified symbols. They’ve seen those symbols simplify even further so they could be combined to increase meaning. They’ve seen the increased communication abilities drive global trade. They’ve seen global trade get sped up with computers. They’ve seen these computers translating the simplified symbols into other simplified symbols so people in different parts of the world can understand each other. They’ve seen people work together to improve this process, fostering global understanding and the creation of a world-wide list of characters so computers can understand all language on earth. They’ve even seen what humans do with this amazingly advanced technology.
Was it worth all the effort?
Caecilians are always pleased to meet you.
In an emergency, frogs may be used as a flotation device.
If it’s breeding season.
And you just get males.
And you have enough of them.
Not actually barking at this time.
From Wikipedia: “The spotted salamander, like other salamanders, shows great regenerative abilities: if a predator manages to dismember a part of a leg, tail, or even parts of the brain, head or organs, the salamander can grow back a new one, although this takes a massive amount of energy.”
I am now envisioning a salamander super-villain who has to drain the life force of others to regrow his limb.
This salamander is pondering who he needs and who he loves for when he comes undone.
This salamander has learned from the mistakes of others and will be relying upon none of the king’s horses or men.
“Pardon me, but have you heard the good word?”
“It’s ‘gambol’. I just think it’s a really good word and more people should use it, so I’m going door to door to let people know.”
Mammals are, frankly, lazier than amphibians. When an amphibian wants this type of colour camouflage, they spend millions of years working on it. Mammals just spend a few hundred years and invent dyes.
This is bad photo. It is, however, the best photograph I have been able to take of the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog.
This is a US species that has lost 90% of its population in the last century. It was already threatened by introduced fish and pesticides (turns out that when you spread around a substance to kill things, it kills things). Then chytridiomycosis arose and things got fairly dire.
When you visit various zoos, you see that many of them are involved in trying to preserve this species. It is, however, extremely rare to actually see them. Much of the conservation seems to be occurring behind closed doors. This makes sense when you have to keep things as small as spores out of exhibits, but it does mean that photos like this are the best you get.
We seem to be missing half of our house.
We are not amused.
Pollinator frogs visit a great many flowers in a day as they collect nectar to support the rest of the hive.
Sadly, the global spread of the chytrid fungus is endangering these little creatures and putting humanity’s food supply at risk.