A-Z in April blog challenge – Alaskan wood frog!
Amazing Alaskan wood frogs – they live in Alaska, obviously, and are attractive, unremarkable-looking, greeny-brown frogs about 3- 7cm in size.
But they have an extraordinary ability. As it becomes colder, they burrow under leaves and mosses, and when it begins to snow and then freeze – Alaskan wood frogs freeze too!
Even their eyes and brains freeze. They stop breathing, their hearts stop beating… and yet they are still alive. Because when spring arrives they thaw, and as the ice and snow melts to water, they hop off to the nearest pond to mate.
Amazing enough to be an April fool – and yet, it is not!
Alaskan wood frogs are not endangered, but they are threatened by increasing numbers of deformities. Scientists are investigating the reasons – frogs are very sensitive, and taking notice of what is affecting them may prevent problems that could affect us.
There is a poem about this incredible little frog in my book, Animal Magic .
Back tomorrow with an awesome animal beginning with ‘B’!
Illustration © Liz Brownlee
If you’d like to leap-blog to another A-Z Challenge blog then click here: A-Z Challenge blog list
Professor Brian Barnes, Director, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska
Fairbanks. Alaskan Wood Frogs, emails to Liz Brownlee 4-6 October 2011.
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