Feb 29
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Guest Blog: Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project

The real purpose of a leap year may be to keep the calendar aligned with the seasons, but at the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, we’d like to believe the day is designed to honor our favorite leapers. To celebrate, we’ve put together some fun facts about frog leaping.

Silverstoneia flotator, leaping

Silverstoneia flotator, leaping

  • Male frogs of the genus Pipa are known to defend their territory by jumping at and then wrestling other males.
  • The New Guineabush frog (Asterophrys turpicola) takes jump attacks one step further: before it jumps at a strange frog, it inflates itself and shows off its blue tongue.
  • Stumpffia tridactyla are normally slow-moving critters, but when they’re startled they can abruptly jump up to 8 inches. That doesn’t sound very far, but these little guys are less than half an inch long!
  • The Fujitree frog (Platymantis vitiensis) may be the leaping stuntman of the frog world. Each time it leaps, it twists in the air – sometimes even 180 degrees – to throw predators off its trail.
Desert rain frog image

Desert rain frog walking

  • The Larut torrent frog (Amolops larutensis) gets its name from a nifty leaping trick: it can jump into a fast-moving stream and back to its usual perch, the underside of a rock, without being affected by the current.
  • The parachuting red-eyed leaf frog (Agalychnis saltator) gets its name from its habit of racing to its mating grounds by jumping from trees with finger-and toe-webbing spread wide.
  • The record for the longest jump by an American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) recorded in a scientific paper is a little over 1.2 metres. But scientists who went to the Calaveras County Fair, which Mark Twain’s short story made famous for frog jumping, found that more than half the competitors bested that record – and one jumped more than 2.1 metres in one leap!
  • The Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t include any frogs for their leaping ability. But it does track human performance in frog jumping (jumping while holding one’s toes). There are records listed for the longest frog jump and the fastest frog jumping over 10 and 100 meters.

 

In honor of leap day celebrations being coordinated globally by Amphibian Ark, the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project made this video for a frog song written by Alex Culbreth.

 

 

Meghan Bartels, Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project

Nov 17
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Meet the Survival characters – Golden frog

Survival logo

 Golden frog, Survival character

Name: Golden frog (Mantella aurantiaca)

Stats:

Status - Critically Endangered (CR)

Length - up to 26 mm

Interesting fact:

This poisonous critter has small pale tubes on its belly which can be seen carrying sperm and urine around the body.

Where am I found?

The golden frog can only be found in Madagascar, where it prefers to inhabit areas with a high level of moisture. It can be found in damp, swampy habitats in primary and secondary rainforests.

What do I eat?

The golden frog has an appetite for things that creep and crawl, and will feed on termites, fruit flies, ants and a huge range of other insects.

Golden frog photo

How do I live?

A sociable species, the golden frog lives in groups usually consisting of twice as many males as females. Breeding tends to start after the first heavy rains of the year, and when there is plenty of food. Male golden frogs attract females with their call, which is a series of short notes, each of which includes three short clicks.

The females do not lay their eggs in water, but in damp leaf litter, moss or under bark and rocks next to a water source. Each clutch contains 20 – 60 white eggs, and these are fertilised by the male immediately after laying. The tadpoles hatch out two weeks later and they either wriggle into water or are washed into small pools by heavy rain. Here, they take around 70 days to metamorphose into froglets.

Golden frog photo

Why am I threatened?

The golden frog only lives in a very small, fragmented area of rainforest which is rapidly being destroyed to make way for the expanding human population. Forest fires and collection for the pet trade also pose a threat to this species, and it is at future risk from the chytrid fungus which has killed many amphibians around the world.

Photo of golden frogs being held

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