Family Science

Froggy February

by rockprogram on Feb. 7th, 2014 No Comments

glassfrog

Do you know what makes an amphibian an amphibian? They are cold-blooded animals that can live on land and in water. Did you know that frogs are a type of amphibian? There are 5,600 species of frogs on our planet! Amphibians are some of the oldest animals that we see today. They evolved over 300 million years ago. That’s a really big family tree!

Breathing via Skin

Frogs, like most amphibians need to live in wet environments in order to keep their skin moist. It is crucial for a frog’s body to remain moist because frogs actually breathe through their skin! Unlike humans who breathe through their lungs, frogs use respiration to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide through their skin, making their skin an extremely important part of their body. If you want to understand more about the respiration process of frogs, try one of our lessons.

The Sounds of Love

Ribbit ribbit. That is the sound that we most closely associate with frogs. Frogs create an advertisement call that usually lets female frogs know that a male is ready to mate. Males will also call out to warn other males of its presence. There are many animals that use sound to communicate interest in members of the opposite sex. If you want to learn more about calls of the wild, come to the Junior Academy’s Naturalist Know How on Sunday afternoons in February!

Each different species of frog has its very own sound. That means that there are over 5,000 different calls that we can hear from frogs around the world! In the book “The Frogs and Toads of North America” by Lang Elliot, there is a supplemental audio-guide so you can hear a chorus of calls that frogs and toads make! The book can be found in the San Francisco Public Library.

Save the Frogs!

Unfortunately, many species of frogs in the world have disappeared and one of the reasons is a skin fungus called chytrid. Right now, there are scientists and researchers at the Academy that are trying to save the frogs. They are performing experiments using frogs from the Academy’s collection as well as samples from different species in Cameroon to find an antifungus that can fight off the spread of this disease. If you want to learn more about these scientists’ efforts to save the frog populations, watch this great video!

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