CREEPY ANIMALS WEEK- DAY 4!!

CREEPY ANIMALS WEEK- DAY 4!

e & e wetlands

Who’s excited to meet another creepy animal? We think this amphibian is kind of cute with their warty skin! But watch out, these toads are quiet toxic just like their rough skinned newt friends!

THE MARINE TOAD!

 

Range/Habitat: Central-South America/ wetlands, rivers, lakes

Diet: Carnivore: ants, beetles, invertebrates

Length: 4-6”

Conservation Status: common

Fun Facts:

  • Marine toads are also known as cane toads.
  • Marine toads are world’s largest toads.
  • They have a tough warty skin.
  • Marine toads are nocturnal (active at night).
  • They are very hardy and can survive in many different habitats.
  • Marine toads have large glands that secret a very toxic poison.

Marine toads are big bad dudes! They will eat almost anything too! We do think it’s best if we just let them hang out by themselves, you know with their toxic skin and all!

 

CREEPY ANIMALS WEEK!

CREEPY ANIMALS WEEK!

Professor Tamandua and the rest of the University Staff are on a fall break, so we’re taking this opportunity to spotlight some creepy animals this week in honor of Halloween! First up, a newt…

This little animal is often referred to in stories about witches, or at least their eyes are! Ever heard of the eye of newt? Well this one doesn’t have scary eyes, but they have scary skin! Come meet them…

e & e wetlands

MEET THE ROUGH SKINNED NEWT!

rough skinned newt

Range/Habitat: Western United States-Canada/ woodlands and ponds

Diet: Carnivore: aquatic invertebrates, tiny fish

Length: 3 ½”- 7 ½”

Conservation Status: Common

 

rough skinned newt3

Fun Facts:

  • The Rough Skinned Newt is an amphibian. Other amphibians also include frogs, toads and salamanders.
  • Rough skinned newts have rough, bumpy skin as implied by their name.
  • They are extremely toxic. They produce a strong toxin that can cause death if eaten. It can also be absorbed through the skin if you have an open cut or wound.
  • They are brownish-black in color with yellow to orange bellies.
  • Rough skinned newts feed at night.
  • They can live as long as 12 years!
  • The common garter snake is the rough skinned newt’s only predator. The snakes have developed immunity to their toxin.

rough skinned newt2

Wow! Who knew a cute little newt could be so poisonous? Well we think they are pretty awesome! We think this animal is best seen and not eaten!

World Frog Day!

World Frog Day!!

Somehow we missed World Frog Day yesterday, so we’re celebrating this amazing amphibians today! Frogs come in all colors and sizes.  Let’s tell you why we love frogs!

eefrog

  • Frogs are amphibians
  • They live on all continents except Antarctica.
  • The Goliath Frog is the larges species of frog in the world.
  • Wood frogs can “freeze” solid and survive the winter.
  • The Golden Dart Frog is the most toxic frog in the world.

frog

  • Bullfrog tadpoles are toxic.
  • Frogs are cold blooded.
  • There are about 4,900 species of frogs in the world.
  • A group of frogs is called an army. A group of toads is called a knot.
  • Frogs do have ears! They are located right behind their eyes.
  • Frogs have been around for 200 million years.

frog4

frog3   frog2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year we interviewed a frog scientist from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens! Read that interview here! Tell us what you love about frogs!

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY #88

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY # 88

We’re celebrating amphibians today! Our adventures are taking us the northwestern corner of the United States to find a salamander! You know we love our amphibian friends! Grab your gear and your wellies and let’s head out!  

e e woods (2)

MEET THE PACIFIC GIANT SALAMANDER!

pacific giant salamander   Range/Habitat: Northwestern U.S.A.-South west Canada

   Diet: Carnivore: invertebrates and small aquatic vertebrates

   Length: 6 ½-13”

   Conservation Status: unconfirmed

 

Fun Facts:

  •          Giant Pacific Salamanders are nocturnal.
  •          They are usually found by streams.
  •          Giant pacific salamanders excrete mucus from their tail when threatened.
  •          Giant pacific salamanders stay in their juvenile aquatic stage their whole life.
  •          They either become terrestrial or they stay aquatic with gills.
  •          Giant pacific salamanders are the largest terrestrial salamander in the world.

These gorgeous salamanders can be over a foot long. How weird is that some of these salamanders stay in their aquatic stage their whole lives?

 pacific giant salamander2  pacific giant salamander3

CREEPY ANIMALS WEEK DAY #3

CREEPY ANIMALS WEEK-DAY #3


In keeping with our scary and creepy theme this week, we’re spotlighting an amphibian! This little animal is often referred to in stories about witches, or at least their eyes are! Ever heard of the eye of newt? Well this one doesn’t have scary eyes, but they have scary skin! Come meet them.

e e woods (2)

MEET THE ROUGH SKINNED NEWT!

rough skinned newt  Range/Habitat: Western United States-Canada/ woodlands and ponds

  Diet: Carnivore: aquatic invertebrates, tiny fish

  Length: 3 ½”- 7 ½”

  Conservation Status: Common

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • The Rough Skinned Newt is an amphibian. Other amphibians also include frogs, toads and salamanders.
  • Rough skinned newts have rough, bumpy skin as implied by their name.
  • They are extremely toxic. They produce a strong toxin that can cause death if eaten. It can also be absorbed through the skin if you have an open cut or wound.
  • They are brownish-black in color with yellow to orange bellies.
  • Rough skinned newts feed at night.
  • They can live as long as 12 years!
  • The common garter snake is the rough skinned newt’s only predator. The snakes have developed immunity to their toxin.

Wow! Who knew a cute little newt could be so poisonous? Well we think they are pretty awesome! We think this animal is best seen and not eaten :)!

rough skinned newt3    rough skinned newt2

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY #81

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY # 81

We’re off to Southeast Africa to meet today’s amphibian. These cool little frogs live underground, so we’ll have to be extra observant to find them! Put your best safari outfit on and let’s go!

e & e safari van

MEET THE BUSHVELD RAIN FROG!

b rain frog   Range/Habitat: Southeast Africa/ forests-grasslands

   Diet: Carnivore: insects, small animals

   Length: 1 ¼-2 ¼”

   Conservation Status: common

 

Fun Facts:

  •       Bushveld rain frogs live underground.
  •          Bushveld rain frogs have short legs.
  •          They come out of their burrows to breed after rain.
  •          Bushveld rain frogs inflate themselves and get wedged in their burrows when threatened.
  •          The female Bushveld is larger than the female.

Bushveld rain frogs are super cute. It is cool that they can inflate themselves. Can you imagine if Ellie could blow herself up? HAHAHAHAHA!

b rain frog2

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY #76

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY # 76

It’s Amphibian Tuesday and we’re going to South America to meet one cool frog! Get your backpack and rainforest adventure gear and let’s go find today’s animal!

e & e rainforest

MEET THE MOUNTAIN MARSUPIAL FROG!

mountain marsupial frog   Range/Habitat: North-West South America/ rainforest

   Diet: Carnivore: insects

   Length: 1 ½-2 ¼”

   Conservation Status: common

 

Fun Facts:

  •          Mountain Marsupial Frogs have broad heads.
  •          They are nocturnal.
  •          Mountain marsupial frogs have long toes.
  •          Female mountain marsupial frogs have a pouch on their back where they incubate their eggs.
  •          Mountain marsupial frogs eggs are connected to the female’s blood system, when the eggs hatch they put the tadpoles in a pool of water.

These cool frogs have such a neat way of incubating their young. That must be why they are called the marsupial frog! We think the kangaroo frog would have been a good name too!

 

mountain marsupial frog2

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY # 70

AMPHIBIAN TUESDAY # 70

It’s Amphibian Tuesday and we’re going to meet a little salamander that lives just north of us. We’re going on a hike in the woods, so grab your backpack, walking stick and a hat and let’s head out on today’s adventure!

e e woods (2)

MEET THE THREE LINED SALAMANDER!

three lines salamander    Range/Habitat: Eastern United States/ woodland

    Diet: carnivore: insects, spiders, flies

    Length: 4-7”

    Conservation Status: common

 

Fun Facts:

  •          Three lined salamanders have long slender bodies.
  •          Three lined salamanders also have very long tails.
  •          They are nocturnal.
  •          Three lined salamanders have dark stripes down their backs and sides.
  •          They winter underground.

These little salamanders are adorable. We would love to spend a few days in the woods looking for amphibians of all kind. Did you know amphibians are a keystone species? They often help scientist determine the health of a habitat. If the amphibian population is healthy, then the habitat is probably pretty healthy too!

three lines salamander2   three lines salamander3

SAVE THE FROGS DAY 2013!!

SAVE THE FROGS DAY 2013!!

We’re celebrating FROGS for Save the Frogs Day! We had a great time last week celebrating these fabulous amphibians for our own frog week! We’re sharing some great photos, fun facts, videos and an INTERVIEW WITH A FROG CONSERVATION SCIENTIST!

IMG_4536

  • Frogs are amphibians
  • They live on all continents except Antarctica.
  • The Goliath Frog is the larges species of frog in the world.
  • Wood frogs can “freeze” solid and survive the winter.
  • The Golden Dart Frog is the most toxic frog in the world.
  • Bullfrog tadpoles are toxic.
  • Frogs are cold blooded.
  • There are about 4,900 species of frogs in the world.
  • A group of frogs is called an army. A group of toads is called a knot.
  • Frogs do have ears! They are located right behind their eyes.
  • Frogs have been around for 200 million years.

frog   frog2

 

 

 

 

 

frog4

frog8  frog6

 

 

 

 

We met with the Amphibian Conservation Coordinator at Atlanta Botanical Gardens and talked frogs- read the interview here! We promise it is super cool!

We couldn’t celebrate Save the Frogs Day without some tips on how you can help:

  • Create a frog friendly backyard. Let your grass grow and reduce trash and chemicals in your yard. Also provide a water feature.
  • Learn about the frogs in your area.
  • Conserve water.
  • Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!
  • Check out organizations like SAVE THE FROGS!

Save the Frogs Day wouldn’t be complete without a little music from our favorite frog- Kermit!

It’s Not Easy Being Green and Frogs in the Glen!

kermit & frogs

Meet Mark, A Frog Conservationist!

 Meet Mark, A Frog Conservationist!

            We went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to meet with Mark Mandica, Amphibian Conservation Coordinator and learn about the gardens fantastic frog conservation program. We were in for a big treat as we had no idea how extensive this program is!

            Mark took us on a tour of behind the scenes and around the grounds to see all the fabulous frogs! So let’ take you on this hopping good adventure.

            We started out with the frog exhibits. These medium to large sized tanks have several species of frogs and numerous individuals. These exhibits were our first introduction to frogs’ amazing ability to camouflage and hide, even the brightly colored ones.

Rain Frog!

Rain Frog!

Rocket Frog!

Rocket Frog!

Can you spot the frog?

Can you spot the frog?

Luckily, Mark knew where to look and helped us locate them. The gardens have many species, including poison dart frogs, glass frogs and leafy frogs.  

Dyeing Dart Frog

Dyeing Dart Frog

Golden Poison Frog- The World's Most Toxic Frog

Golden Poison Frog- The World’s Most Toxic Frog

There's no frog here.

There’s no frog here.

Splendid Leaf Frog

Splendid Leaf Frog

Glass frog on a leaf!

Glass frog on a leaf!

           

Next Mark took us behind the scenes where all the yummy froggy food is kept and where they breed frogs. All frogs are carnivores and insects are one of their favorite prey. The gardens keep worms, crickets and flies to feed the frogs. Yum!

Frog food!

Frog food!

Frog food!

Frog food!

           

After we checked out the frog food, we entered the breeding room. Whew, it was humid in there! The garden raises frogs for conservation and to send to other facilities, likes zoos and aquariums.  There were frogs getting ready to breed, eggs, tadpoles and baby frogs. We could hardly contain our excitement! Did you know that there are some species of frogs that live as tadpoles for a year?

Splendid Leafy Frog bum!

Splendid Leafy Frog bum!

Hanging on!

Hanging on!

Glass frog chilling on a leaf!

Glass frog chilling on a leaf!

Can you find the frog?

Can you find the frog?

Frog hanging on the glass.

Frog hanging on the glass.

Frog eggs

Frog eggs

Teeny tiny tadpoles

Teeny tiny tadpoles

Poison dart frogs develop their coloration as tadpoles

Poison dart frogs develop their coloration as tadpoles

Baby frog

Baby frog

      

We then went in to the conservatory where we played spot the frog. The conservatory houses five species of frogs, all of whom you can hear but are hard to spot. Luckily Mark knew where to look. There are also turtles and birds in the conservatory.

Inside the conservatory!

Inside the conservatory!

Looking for frogs!

Looking for frogs!

Phantasmal Poison frog

Phantasmal Poison frog

Bullfrog

Bullfrog

            After our fantastic tour we sat down to ask Mark some questions.

Us: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Mark: I have been with Atlanta Botanical Gardens for three years and I am the Amphibian Conservation Coordinator. I worked at the University of Miami and in the Everglades with frogs, salamanders and turtles. Frogs that live in puddles are my specialty.

Us: Wow! We bet working in the Everglades was cool. When did you discover your love of frogs? Which species is your favorite?

Mark: I have always loved frogs. I took a frog class at the end of college and that changed my life. The Surinam Toad (Pipa Pipa) is my favorite.

 

Us: Cool! How many species do you have at Atlanta Botanical Gardens? Do you have any poison dart frogs?

Mark: We have around 300 individual frogs and several dozen species. We have 12 species of poison dart frogs, all from Central and South America. (The poison dart frogs are not fed the flies that make them toxic.)

 

Us: We had no idea you had so many frogs! Do you have any wild frogs on the grounds?

Mark: We have American Bullfrogs.

 

Us: Oh, we must go look for the bullfrogs! Glass frogs are one of favorites. What is the purpose of the translucent skin?

Mark: The translucent skin helps them camouflage. The translucent skin does help us take care of them; you can see when they have eaten.

 

Us: Hehe, see through skin does make it easy! Tell us about the frogPod.

Mark: It houses frogs that the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Zoo Atlanta went to Panama to collect. The frogs were collected to save them from Chytrid Fungus. (The fungus is spreading through frog populations and decimating many species.)

 

Us: We have been to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens before, but had no idea that your frog conservation program was so extensive. Can you tell us a bit more about what you do?

Mark: People are constantly surprised when they find out we are involved in frog conservation. We offer education programs and classes for toddlers to college students. We even go out to schools and colleges. I designed a program for the Duke University summer program for teens.

 

Us: Wow! We might need to sign up for one of those frog classes! Do you travel to help take care of or introduce frogs?

Mark: We do help with native frogs up and down the east coast. We are also part of a head start program with Gopher Frogs. We breed them here then release the little frogs in South Georgia. Gopher frogs live with gopher tortoises in the burrows that the tortoises dig. We use a scope with a camera to find the frogs and tortoises. The burrows can be 20 feet deep. (You can learn more about this program here.)

 

Us: That is great work! Gopher tortoises are one of our favorites. We call them the apartment builders of the wild. We had no idea there were gopher frogs! How can people help frogs?

Mark: Letting your vegetation grow out and not using chemicals on your lawn is a good start. If you have wetlands or water, try to maintain them and keep them clean. You can add a water feature, but make sure you keep it chemical and fish free. (The fish will eat frogs-except bullfrogs.)

 

Us: Excellent! Thank you so much for sitting down with us and taking us on a wonderful tour! We were so excited to learn all about the frog conservation program! If you just love frogs you can learn more about the Atlanta Botanical Gardens amphibian conservation program on their website! If you’re in Atlanta make sure to check out this wonderful place!

We stopped to check out the tulips!

We stopped to check out the tulips!

We stopped to read a book!

We stopped to read a book!