Do you know why frogs can leap so powerfully and high? The fact that frog legs act like well-oiled hinges is pretty well known, but there's really more to it than that. The power, according to Dr. Chris Richards, who has studied the movement via simultion in order to determine if it was an evolutionary need or not, comes not from the joints themselves but from the frogs' own leg muscles.
I love the blog The Kid Should See This, and if you don't follow it, you should at least check it out! It's a curated selection of cool science, music and art videos that might be intended for a youthful audience, but the videos aren't "kiddie videos." They are videos everyone can enjoy, and many of them are about frogs.
When frogs make the news, it's often regarding yet another species listed as threatened or endangered. It's a distressing time for frog lovers to hear about so many species facing extinction. This week, however, the opposite extreme occurred when it was announced that frogs are taking over the coast of North Carolina. Following dozens of days of record-setting weather, frogs were in optimal positions for breeding and have been reproducing so much and so quickly that they are literally falling from the sky, landing on people's houses and littering the place with poop.
Humans might act like we have the right of way when it comes to the traffic of life, but we certainly weren't here first and just because we can flush a toilet doesn't mean we deserve real estate more than any other critter who walks, slithers or hops across the planet. The Supreme Court is about to hear a case not pushing for frog protection but for protections be revoked in Louisiana and Mississippi.
As many frogs as we hear about dying out or becoming endangered, we often forget that there are some species of frogs that are so productive that they in less danger of being wiped out. Wood frogs, for example, begin mating within two days of coming out of hibernation, ensuring that they not only get the choice spots of water in which to breed but also that their numbers don't dwindle.
If your children or students are squeamish about frogs, worms and other garden critters, you might want to check out the book 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! This book, available in Kindle and print, is filled with fun ways to learn about frogs, bugs and other creatures while crafting and exploring your environment.
The chytrid fungus is a terrible, deadly disease that kills frogs. It adheres to their skin while it's wet and grows, putting down roots and restricting frogs from absorbing air and water. It's a killer of frogs and is able to cause extinction through simply exisiting. It also causes terrible pain and suffering to the frogs, suffocating them while causing them to form ulcers, bleed and fail to control their body temperatures.
Are you doing a frog unit study at home or school? It's spring peepers season and you're just in time for a fun pond study or frog unit. This cute frog theme from Schooling a Monkey has a bunch of great young child and early elementary activities you can adapt for your children, classroom or group. The blog is one of my favorites for homeschooling ideas and I think there's something in this one for everyone.
Ever heard of Diane's Bare-Hearted Glass Frog? The Glassfrog hails from Costa Rica and looks just like it's name: clear glass. You can see right through the frog's skin, and the frog, which is only the size of a quarter, is practically a living science lesson. You can view all of the frog's internal organs just by looking at it.
The humor of a scientist can't be beat, and zoologists across the world are going viral proving it! Zoo employees are leaving hilarious animal reviews a la Amazon.com on Twitter to help engage with potential visitors and highlight their critters and it's even more fun than the frog dating profile we saw a couple of weeks ago.