amphibians

Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers

We are meeting a little frog that calls Lake Salamander. These little frogs sing their songs at night while we’re sitting by the lake. Luckily one little peeper hopped by to talk to us about spring peeper frogs.

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Spring Peeper Fun Facts:

  • My calls usher in spring across the Eastern United States.
  • I am a member of a group of frogs known as chorus frogs.
  • I have pads on my toes that help me grip to surfaces.
  • Those pads help make me an excellent climber!
  • Like all frogs, I am a carnivore.
  • I like to winter in Florida, hahaha! Just kidding, I hide under piles of leaves and logs.
  • In the winter, I allow my body to freeze! Yep, bet you can’t do that!
  • I have a lovely X shaped pattern on my back.
  • You can hear our lovely chorus here!

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I am one shy frog and you won’t see me out during the day! But if you’re sitting outside listen for us and our lovely songs of spring!

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, frogs, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Craft Day – clay salamanders!

Craft Day- clay salamanders!

We are ready for craft day and we are so excited! Our crafty opossum friend is in charge of crafts at Lake Salamander! Let’s get crafty!

Materials:
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Craft knife (adults please help small children)
Polymer clay in various colors
Oven
Salamander pattern
Magnets
Glue
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Instructions:

  • Print and cut out salamander pattern
  • Choose the color you want to use for your salamander.
  • Roll out clay according to manufacture instructions.
  • Using the pattern, cut the salamander shape out of the clay.

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  • Use the other colors to decorate your salamander.

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  • Bake clay according to manufacture instructions.

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  • Once it cool, glue on magnet.

And there you have it! One adorable salamander magnet!

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Hanging on the fridge in the food hall!

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, camp, crafts, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amphibian Friend at Lake Salamander

Amphibian Friend at Lake Salamander

We are so happy to meet our first friend of the summer! Camp E&E sits next to one beautiful lake- Lake Salamander. This special spot was named because of the special amphibians who live here! We are always so thrilled to find a few chilling in the woods.

Today we are meeting the Southern Zigzag salamander. Woohoo!

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Southern Zigzag Salamander Fun Facts: 

  • These adorable amphibians are carnivores. They eat mostly insects.
  • They only grow to about 3 1/2 inches long! Not a big animal for sure.
  • They call the forest floor their home, so watch where you are stepping while on hikes campers.
  • They have a zigzag stripe down their back. It can vary in color from red to yellow.
  • Females lay eggs in burrows. They guard their eggs until they hatch. Unlike a lot of salamanders, they do not go through an aquatic larva phase. When they are born, they look like miniature adults!
  • They are listed by the IUCN as Least Concern.

Can you imagine how cute teeny tiny zigzag salamanders are? We would hardly be able to stand it! We hear that Crafty Crab is coming up with a cute salamander craft later in the week! YAY!

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Frogs!

Happy Frogs!

It’s World Frog Day and we are so happy to share some amazing amphibians we met at The Ampbian Foundation right down the road from headquarters! This amazing organization is working to protect frogs and other amphibians and reptiles from around the world! We met some amazing frogs the day we visited, including the gopher frog who the foundation raises and reintroduces in to the wild. Make sure you check out The Amphibian Foundations website & help them out! We’re all here for the frogs!

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Good luck in the wild gopher frog!

 

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Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, frogs, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Watch Out for Flying Frogs

Watch Out for Flying Frogs

We headed off to meet an adorable amphibian today! They may be known to fly. We wonder if they wear capes? Hehehe! Let’s find out.

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Chinese Flying Frog Fun Facts: 

  • These little 4 inch frogs call tropical and subtropical forests their homes.
  • They are arboreal.
  • They are also called Chinese Gliding Frogs.
  • They have webbing between their toes. That webbing allows them to glide from tree branch to tree branch.
  • They can glide up to 50 feet.
  • Females create foam nests for their eggs and attach to those on leaves above water.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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We enjoyed spotting this little frog with the funny little feet! It makes us want to go hang gliding!

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, frogs, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Greenhouse frog

Greenhouse Frog!

We headed out today away from the beach and in to the forest to find a little frog who is not native to Hawaii but was introduced from Cuba. These little amphibians are not east to find, but we were lucky and discovered a few.

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Greenhouse Frog: 

  • These little frogs are only about an inch long.
  • They are carnivores. They eat ants, mites and spiders.
  • They lay their eggs in a membrane casing that the leave under logs or leaves.
  • They pass through their tadpole stage while in their eggs. When they are born they are frogs.
  • Their eyes are red.

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These little frogs are so cute! But then again, aren’t they all!

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, frogs, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Warning! Frog!

Warning! Frog!

We went looking for one neat little frog on our last day here in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has sooooo many amphibians! We found one of the famous poison dart frogs- the Strawberry flavored one- hahaha!

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Strawberry Poison Dart Frog: 

  • These little frogs have warning coloration. Their colors vary on where they live.
  • They eat ants and termites give them their toxicity.
  • Strawberry dart frogs only grow up to around 3/4 of inch to an inch.
  • They are diurnal and tetestrial.
  • They are very territorial.
  • Strawberry poison dart frogs are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

 

We loved spotting these little frogs. They are definitely a look but don’t touch species.

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The Real Kermit

The Real Kermit

We went frogging during the evening. Costa Rica is one of the best places for spotting amphibians. We went looking for a very new species and we were not dissappointed.

 

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Diane’s Bare-Hearted Glass Frog: 

  • Glass frogs have transparent skin on their bellies. You can see all of their organs!
  • These frogs are found in the mountains of Costa Rica. They are the first new glass frog species to be discovered in 40 years.
  • It has long thin fingers and toes.
  • They are nocturnal.
  • Males have an almost insect like call they use to attract females.
  • These cuties have white ping pong like eyeballs with black irises that make them look just like Kermit the frog.

 

We often think it is crazy that scientists are still discovering new species. It is so important to protect the wild places on earth so that all animals- known and not known have a healthy habitat to call home.

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Back to Basics- Reptiles & Amphibians

Back to Basics- Reptiles & Amphibians

We are on our last day of learning the basics on the groups! We have much more to learn! Today Professor Carl the Chameleon is catching everyone up on reptiles and amphibians.

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Let’s learn some reptile basics first and then more about our amphibian friends.

There are around 7,984 reptile species on earth. Reptiles first appeared on earth around 340 million years ago. The largest group of reptiles is lizards. You can find us on most continents except Antarctica. You can even find some of us in the worlds’ oceans.

What makes a reptile a reptile?

  • We are covered in scales.
  • We lay eggs.
  • We are ectothermic.
  • We have lungs for breathing.
  • We are vertebrates.

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Our scales cover our epidermis and they are made of keratin. When we grow we shed our scales. Some of us do this in pieces and some of us, like snakes- shed their whole layer at once.

Turtles, tortoises, crocodiles and most lizards have movable eyelids. Snakes have a fixed clear eye covering that they shed when they grow too.

Most reptiles have poor hearing and none of us can taste.

Snakes and some lizards have a forked tongue that they “smell” with. They pick up scent molecules with their tongue and use an organ in their brain called the Jacobson’s organ to analyze those molecules.

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Most reptiles lay their eggs and leave them. They provide no parental care for their young.  There are some reptiles that incubate their eggs inside their body and give birth to live young.  The crocodilian family and a few lizards to protect their eggs and young.

 

Amphibians

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Now let’s talk some about our amphibian friends.

There are around 5,000 species of amphibians. They have been around for 370 million years.  There are three groups of amphibians; newts/salamander, frogs/toads and caecilians.

The word amphibian means dual life. They live a life in the water (usually as young) and then on land (usually as adults).

What makes an amphibian an amphibian?

  • We are ectothermic.
  • We are vertebrates.
  • We breathe through our skin.
  • We go through metamorphosis. We do not look the same as young as we do as adults.

Amphibian young use gills to breathe. Young frogs and toads are called tadpoles and they have tails and no legs.

We have no scales and no hair. Our skin can absorb water and we need water to keep it moist, this helps us breathe. We all have poison glands in our skin!

Adult amphibians have lungs, but we do not have rib cages. We can also absorb oxygen through our skin and through the lining of our mouth.

Most amphibians deposit eggs in water. We can lay anywhere from 2 to 50,000 eggs.

 

 

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Give That Frog a Glass of Water

Give That Frog a Glass of Water

We had no internet yesterday! Darn-it! Well we spent that extra time looking for an unusual amphibian who calls the desert home! The water holding frog is soooo cool!

water holding frog

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Date: 4/7

Location: Great Victorian Desert

Water Holding Frog Fun Facts:

  • They have webbed toes.
  • Water holding frogs live underground.

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  • When they bury themselves, they cocoon themselves in a mucus to protect themselves.
  • Water holding frogs eat that mucus when they emerge from their dormant state.
  • Water holding frogs can hold water in their bladder and send it back to their mouths to drink. They can also store in pockets under their skin!
  • They come out of their sandy burrows to mate during rainy season.

Woohoo! Animals have the neatest adaptation ever! Even if they seem kind of gross! Hehehehe!

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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