Tag Archives: ten things

4 Things to Remember this Holiday Season

Several years ago I wrote a post in December called 5 things to remember this holiday season. If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you may remember this post. It was one that I really liked and wanted to reshare, especially with my new subscribers who may not have been reading then. (By the way, my favorite from that list is number 2; what is yours?)

jen-6515

I won’t repeat those 5 things, but I will add 4 more, in honor of THIS December and THIS moment in time.

So here then, 4 things to remember this holiday season:

1 Don’t compare yourself with others.   This is a hard one because we see examples of “perfection” everywhere we look–on Hallmark cards, friends’ Facebook posts, TV commercials, photo cards sent to us from family members. Remind yourself that this represents a few seconds in time. No one’s life is perfect; no one is immune from struggle, from challenges, from day-to-day stresses. Appearances aren’t everything–just because someone looks happy, doesn’t mean they are. Family and friends and people around you may be thinner, taller, shorter, smarter, richer, more attractive, more fit, more busy, less busy, more ambitious, may have a “better job,” or “better house,” or “better situation,”, etc, but that doesn’t make them BETTER THAN YOU. Stop comparing yourself to others and you will be so much happier.

2. Joy comes from within.  We sometime think, and are led to believe by tv commercials, billboards and other media differently but this is TRUE. We all have the power to be happy or not be happy. It is whatever we decide. The poorest people in the world are not the saddest, nor are the richest people the happiest. Having money and things does not equal happiness. Instead, happiness comes from being grateful, from being able to focus on our blessings rather than our wants, and from being at peace with who we are and on what road we’re on in life. If you are not happy, try doing something nice for someone else –because making others happy often makes ourselves happy.

3 Make time for YOURSELF. If you are a giving person, it is so easy to get caught up in all of those lists and commitments. You rush from one thing to the next with barely any time to breathe. Slow down and remember that YOU ARE IMPORTANT TOO! Give yourself some pleasure this holiday season by making time for things that bring a smile to your face and a feeling of contentment in your soul. It could be a walk in the woods, lunch with a special friend, a trip to the salon… whatever it is don’t let it slip away–YOU deserve to be on your Christmas list too!

jen-09934. Keep making new memories.  All of us have collections of memories, of fond times that we have stored away in the corners of our brain that we can bring up, close our eyes and relive. But maybe we need to think of those memories as having a shelf life. Just like that can of corn or that jar of pasta sauce needs to be replaced when the expiration date comes, so too we need to think of replacing our old memories with new ones. And you don’t usually make very many memories sitting on your butt on the couch! So get out and DO SOMETHING! Go sledding, go hiking, go backpacking, go bowling, go to a new country, play with your kids, go visit your friends, invite friends over for some fun games, sign up for a new class… the list is endless. Maybe instead of a New Year’s Resolution we should make some lists of all the things we can do and learn in this coming year. We must remember to KEEP MAKING MEMORIES!  

Want to know one way to do this? Have you heard of a Bucket List? Well how about instead of–or in addition to–making a LIFE Bucket list, why not make a monthly bucket list? At the beginning of every month, sit down with your spouse/family and write a bucket list for that month. What are some things you’d like to do? Write them down and post them on your calendar–this will help remind and hopefully, motivate you!

jen-0873

Good luck and do let me know how it goes and if you have any things you’d like to add. I always appreciate hearing from you!

Happy day! See you again soon. Oh, and here’s a post about some meaningful gifts that won’t break the bank or one about some gifts for Mother Nature that make a giant difference.

Posted in Call to Action!, For My Soul, Just for Fun, Ten Things | Also tagged , , , , , , 1 Comment

10 Things That May Surprise you about Turkey Vultures

Did you know that the first Saturday in the month of September is celebrated around the world as International Vulture Awareness Day? Did you celebrate this holiday?

A soaring turkey vulture

A soaring turkey vulture

If you are like me, you probably never heard of this holiday! But new things are learned everyday, especially with the internet and the ease of getting information about anything and everything. When I was doing research for this post I came across reference to this and looked into it. Too bad I didn’t discover it a few weeks earlier– could have helped the world in its celebration.

So it is true that some people don’t have a very favorable opinion of vultures. Yes, they are a bit less attractive than other birds, with their bald heads. And yes, they do have some pretty gross habits, as we’ll discuss later, but they are very important in our ecosystems, alerting other animals to the presence of dead animals and recycling nutrients back into the environment. Not to mention their ability to sterilize contaminated meat with their strong stomach acids. Imagining a world without vultures is not very pleasant. (Think LOTS of dead and smelly animals, everywhere, rotting, and generally making the world a less pleasant place.) Many animals–EVERYDAY–die from diseases, starvation, parasites, fights over mates, competition, and accidents.  vulture-0026Vultures find and eat these animals.

Let’s look at some facts that make these animals unique.

1. Worldwide there are 23 species of vultures, 14 of which are endangered or threatened. The turkey vulture, (Cathartes aura) is the most common vulture in North America and can be found throughout the lower 48 and into southern Canada.

2.Turkey vultures, and other vultures, feed on carrion–dead animals. This may seem gross, but they play a vital role in the ecosystems and are essential to the health of the planet. This is why vultures lack feathers on their heads and necks–imagine the mess drying blood on feathers would be!

Vultures riding thermals

Vultures riding thermals

3. Turkey vultures are oddities in the bird world in that they have a very well-developed sense of smell. Most other birds do not smell well at all (making it a myth that a bird will abandon its nest if you touch its egg or chick) Old world vultures–those found in Africa and Asia–like hawks and eagles, do not have a sense of smell! New world vultures–like turkey, black, Andean and California condor DO have a developed sense of smell. These vultures find their food–carrion, or dead animals–by smell and sight; they can find carrion over a mile away! Not all vultures have this great sense of smell, including NA’s other vulture–the black vulture.

4. When a turkey, and other vulture, feels threatened, for instance, at its nest or at a carcass, they can launch their vomit containing powerful stomach acids up to 10 feet away! Wow, talk about an undiscovered talent! Need a smelly shower anyone?

5. Vomiting on potential predators isn’t their only gross habit; they also defecate on their legs and feet when they are feeling hot. This habit cools their blood vessels and kills harmful bacteria and parasites that might otherwise make them sick. Don’t try this at home!

vulture6. Turkey vultures (and other vultures) do not build nests. Instead, they lay their eggs on bare ground–perhaps on the edge of a cliff, in a crevice, under a dead tree, in an abandoned building, etc. Females lay 1-3 creamy white eggs that have dark blotches on the fatter end. Eggs hatch in 30-40 days.t

7. Vultures congregate in large flocks to feed, fly and often roost. A large group of vultures is called a committee, a venue or a volt. When they get together in the air, using thermals to effortlessly drift in the sky above, it is called a kettle, which is a large flock. Sometimes eagles or other birds will be found among them.

8. Have you ever seen a movie where a character is out in the desert, hot and lost and looked up to see circling vultures, worried he was going to be eaten by them? This is a myth! Vultures do not circle and follow dying animals.

9. Most birds have an organ called a syrinx. This is the vocal organ that allows birds to sing. Turkey vultures do not have one of these so the only sounds they make are grunts, hisses and clacks.

10. Male and female turkey vultures look the same. They are the same size and have no identifying traits that would signal their sex. Gender

Another species of vulture--a black vulture

Another species of vulture–a black vulture

cannot be determined without a medical procedure.

11. (Yes, I know I said 10, but one more won’t hurt!) In many parts of the world vultures are threatened or endangered. Many die from electrocution, car collisions and from toxins or lead in the carcasses they eat. In many European countries, vultures are in trouble, dying from a drug called diclofenac, which is used by some farmers as an anti-inflammatory in cattle and pigs. Vultures who feed on these animals die within a few hours of ingesting this drug. Amazingly, other drugs that accomplish the same goal are available and word is out on this deadly result, but still the drug is being used. Want to read more about this? Read more from BirdLife.org, the Royal Society of Chemistry, or Nature.com or the Guardian.com

So wow, did you learn anything new? I am always amazed when I do these creature features because it is inevitable that I will learn many new things. I have always enjoyed watching turkey vultures soaring in the blue sky above me, envious of their ability to fly so effortlessly. Next time you see one, perhaps you too can stop for a minute to admire this amazing bird.

Resources:

Turkey Vulture Society: This is a fabulous site offering lots of wonderful information about vultures. If you go, check out the frequently asked questions.

Posted in Animals, Birds, Did you know..., Ten Things, Weekly Creature Feature | Also tagged , , , , 6 Comments

10 Things You May Not Know about White Pelicans

puzz-1149White pelicans in a large group soaring through the sky is a pretty amazing sight. They seem like they never have to flap their wings at all, just riding the thermals, high above the earth. There is so much about them that is interesting… so let’s get started.

1. First off, white pelicans have one of the largest wingspans of any North American bird. At 9 feet, this is impressive!

puzz-97732. You can probably guess that white pelicans eat fish, but did you know that they sometimes work together to herd fish to more shallow water where they can feast on them more easily?

3. From the time an egg hatches til the chick leaves the nest and becomes independent, the parents provide roughly 150 POUNDS of food!

4. White pelicans are pretty accomplished thieves, stealing from other pelicans and cormorants so they don’t have to do the work themselves.

Notice the odd growth on the top of the bill

Notice the odd growth on the top of the bill

5. Have you ever looked closely at a pelican and noticed an odd projection on its bill? When I was in Kansas last winter, it seemed like all of the white pelicans we were seeing had this weird bump on the upper mandible near the tip of the bill. I wondered about it, thinking it was some kind of genetic deformity. After all, I had seen white pelicans before that did not have this hump. But research showed that they have this odd bump during the breeding season–apparently, it makes them more attractive to prospective mates! Go figure. Interestingly, this is called a nuptial tubercle and it will fall off after the breeding season.

6. White pelicans breed on islands in shallow wetlands with many other birds, including other white pelicans and also cormorants. puzz-9798

7. Unlike brown pelicans that fly high above the water and then dive down into the water to catch their prey, white pelicans get their food by feeding from the water surface, dipping their beaks into the water to snag fish and other aquatic animals.

When they are in the water you don't see their black-lined wings

When they are in the water you don’t see their black-lined wings

8. White pelicans are one of the heaviest flying birds in the world. An average white pelican weighs between 7 – 20 pounds.

9. Females lay 1-3 eggs in a slight depression in the ground. Both the male and female will incubate the eggs–not the way other birds do, but with their giant orange feet! Eggs hatch in about a month and usually, only one will survive to leave the nest. Chicks leave the nest–fledge–when they are about 10 weeks old.

10. Except for the fact that males are slightly larger than females, the two appear identical.

A flock of white pelicans high above

A flock of white pelicans high above

Posted in Animals, Birds, Did you know..., Ten Things, Weekly Creature Feature | Also tagged , , , Comments Off on 10 Things You May Not Know about White Pelicans

10 Things You May Not Know about Swallow-tailed Kites

Last week’s puzzler was a swallow-tailed kite–a bird I suspect some readers may never have seen or even heard of. That’s because it is not common in most of the United States.

kite-2562Have you ever had the pleasure of watching a swallow-tailed kite soar in the sky above you? It is quite a sight to see as these beautiful birds are so graceful.

Let’s look at a few interesting things about these birds:

  1. Before 1900 these birds could be found in 21 states, their range extending from Florida and the Gulf Coast states all the way up to Minnesota. These days you can find them in only a handful of  states– Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and Florida. Their range also includes Central and South America and the west Indies.
  2. Some swallow-tailed kites spend summers breeding in North America and then migrate to northern South America. Florida has the highest population of kites and you can see them there only from March-September.
  3. Swallow-tailed kites are the largest species of kite in America. They can be 19-24 inches long, which includes their forked tail that is 12-15 inches long. They have a wingspan of 50 inches.
  4. dragon-Swallow-tailed kites eat almost all of their food on the wing. Have you ever watched a dragonfly in flight? If so then you know what amazing flyers they are, twisting and turning and darting about so quickly that it’s hard to imagine anything ever being able to catch them. But swallow-tailed kites do! They chase them and then snag them in mid-air! (the same way dragonflies catch their prey!) Also on their menu are butterflies, beetles,bees, wasps, other insects, frogs, lizards, snakes, small birds and less often, bats, fruit and small fish.
  5. They also drink while they are flying! To do this they glide low above the body of water and open their beaks.
  6. They build nests high in dead trees–often a 100 feet from the ground! They often nest in loose colonies with other kites, usually by water.
  7. Both males and females incubate and feed the growing babies. Their incubation is 28-30 days–a long time if you’re a bird used to soaring through the sky! Chicks leave the nest to take their first flight at around 40 days after hatching.
  8. Have you ever heard of obligate siblicide? Me either, but in studying this bird I came across this term. Many females lay two eggs. The one that hatches first often kills the other one so it can have all of the food and attention from its parents. Talk about extreme! But in nature, it’s just another adaptation that equals success.
  9. Two swallow-tailed kites mating

    Two swallow-tailed kites mating

    Mating for kites (and many other birds) is a SUPER QUICK affair! I was in Florida a couple of years ago in early spring and was watching some swallow-tailed kites wheel around in the sky. All of a sudden one landed on the top of a very tall dead tree, then another quickly landed there too–on top of the first one! They were together for less than 30 seconds, and then both flew off. A bit later a kite flew overhead with a stick, obviously ready to build a nest. Talk about a quick courtship!

  10. Males and females look similar.
    A kite with nesting material

    A kite with nesting material

Posted in Animals, Birds | Also tagged , , 2 Comments

10 Things You May Not Know about Damselflies

If you’re saying, “Damselfly? What the heck is a damselfly?”…read on!

Recently I featured a damselfly nymph as one of my Weekly Puzzlers. If you don’t know much about this insect, here’s your chance to learn a bit more! (Continue all the way to the end to watch some fabulous videos)

A damselfly covered in dew

A damselfly covered in dew

Many people who see a damselfly think it is just a little dragonfly, but this is not true. The two ARE related, in that they both belong to the order Odonata, meaning “toothed ones.” In this order there are 5000+ different species, with roughly a third of them being damselflies. Both have an extendable hinged lower lip called a labium that they can shoot out like a dart to grab unsuspecting prey.

Eyes of a damselfly do not touch

Eyes of a damselfly do not touch

Here’s how you can tell the two apart:

First, damselflies are smaller and more delicate-looking– less stocky–and they fly less swiftly.

Second, when at rest most damselflies hold their wings above their bodies rather than spread out to the sides, as do dragonflies.

Lastly, the eyes of dragonflies meet on the tops of their heads –in damselflies they are widely spread and not touching.

A dragonfly's eyes touch in the middle

A dragonfly’s eyes touch in the middle

Here are some facts about damselflies:

1. They have been on earth for more than 300 million years! That’s a long time. Wow, what a successful group of insects! They were here long before the birds. Some Odonata had a wingspan of 30 inches–as big as a hawk!

A damselfly snags a fly!

A damselfly snags a fly!

2. Like their bigger cousins, damselflies are FABULOUS hunters, both as nymphs and adults. As adults, they grab prey in mid-air, using their legs like a basket to catch it. In the water, as nymphs, they are also fierce predators, catching other aquatic invertebrates like mosquito larva, mayfly nymphs and isopods.

3. Just like dragonflies, they cannot walk with their 6 legs. Instead they use them for catching prey and for perching when at rest. If you look closely at their legs you will notice they are covered with small, sharp-looking bristles. These help in trapping prey in mid-air.

A damselfly

Notice the bristles on the legs of this damselfly

4. Damselflies are found throughout the world, everywhere except Antarctica. And, they can be found in just about every color of the rainbow, from turquoise, blue, green, purple, brown and gold. Which color is your favorite?

Wow, a purple damselfly! Temperature and light can make their colors fade.

Wow, a purple damselfly! Temperature and light can make their colors fade.

5. Both males and females have a long abdomen with 10 segments. Both also have clasping organs at the ends of their abdomen. Have you ever been kayaking or fishing and seen two damselflies locked together and flying around? Ever wondered about this? Yes, damselfly mating is quite interesting, especially for the female. First, the male clasps her behind the head with special claspers at the end of his abdomen, fitting into the space perfectly–like a key in a lock. Then the female bends her body upward to grasp the male with her clasping organs at the end of her abdomen. Before transferring his sperm to her, he scoops out any remaining sperm of rival damselflies. Sometimes you can see them flying around in this tandem position, known as the “wheel position.” It looks a bit like a heart, the way their bodies bend towards each other.

First, the male clasps the female behind her head.

First, the male clasps the female behind her head.

Damselflies in "wheel" position

Damselflies in “wheel” position

6. Damselflies (like dragonflies) DO have antenna. They are just so short most people never notice them.

7. Damselflies have many nicknames, including damsels, bog dancers and devil’s darning needles. This last one especially might give cause for alarm, but not to worry, these insects are harmless and do not sting or bite–unless of course you are a mosquito, fly, or other insect.

8. A cool fact that I just learned recently is that the female of many species of damselflies actually goes UNDER water to lay her eggs! She crawls down the stem of some submerged vegetation and will cut small holes in the plant stem where she will lay her eggs. All the while down there she is able to breathe because of oxygen surrounding her body and wings. When she is done, she travels back to the surface and then must be able to take off again into the air. Many damselflies become fish food during these tense moments.

dragon-9. Their eggs hatch in 1-3 weeks and will stay in the water as nymphs for 2 months up to 3 years, depending on the species. They will go through 15 molts before finally crawling up a plant stem or rock and emerging from their nymphal skin as an adult with wings. This is an amazing thing to witness! I have seen it a few times in my lifetime, and am always blow away by it. Next time I see it, I will make a point to film it so I can feature it here on my blog! Have you ever been lucky enough to witness this?

10. As nymphs they have 3 feathery-looking appendages at the ends of their bodies–these are their gills. Dragonfly nymphs have internal gills.

A damselfly nymph--notice the 3 feathery gills at the end.

A damselfly nymph–notice the 3 feathery gills at the end.

If you want to learn more about dragonflies, check out my post on these HERE, or, Check out this fabulous video from BBC Nature about the short life of a damselfly.

Hope you’re having a fabulous day! See you again soon.

Check out this video of a damselfly emerging as an adult! WOW, spectacular! Nature is so amazing! (Whether it happens in Scotland or the US, the process is the same! Don’t let the location turn you away)

Here’s a video from the BBC on damselfly mating:

Posted in Animals, Insects, Spiders and other Invertebrates, Ten Things, Weekly Creature Feature | Also tagged , , , , , , 2 Comments

10 Things You May Not Know about Prairie Chickens

Safe to say before this recent trip to Nebraska I knew nothing about the animal called a prairie chicken! So maybe you are like me and this will all be new.

Last week I wrote a brief post about a bird called a prairie chicken. If you live in the midwest, you may have seen or heard of this bird. If you live elsewhere but travel through the midwest in the spring, you may want to consider stopping in to see their unique mating dance, which takes place every morning and evening for about 4-6 weeks. It is incredible!

prchick-9583Before traveling to Nebraska and seeing these birds, I knew nothing about them. But now I know a lot! Here are some things I learned about greater prairie chickens:

prchick-95981.Greater prairie chickens are found only in the United States and only in a few places, many of which are on private land. In much of their original range they are extinct or endangered. There are thought to be about 459,000 remaining prairie chickens. They need open grassland with grass 10-18 inches long for roosting and nesting in. They are found in Kansas, Nebrasaka, Oklahoma, and scattered areas in Wisconsin, Illinois and Colorado.

2. Have you ever visited those states during winter? If so you know it is pretty cold! But even so, prairie chickens do not migrate. Instead, they dig into the snow, creating horizontal tunnels which insulate them from the freezing temperatures. They have feathers on their legs and feet which helps to keep them warm. Like many other animals, they change their diet in winter, becoming herbivores.

3. The rest of the year prairie chickens are omnivores. They eat a variety of plant and animal matter including leaves, seeds, buds, grains, insects and other invertebrates.

prchick-95424. Prairie chickens have a mating ritual that they participate in each spring called booming. Males in breeding plumage are pretty spectacular, with yellow combs over their eyes, feathers that look like rabbit ears that can be held erect or laid back over their neck, yellow patches below their eyes that they inflate with air to create a unique “booming” sound and a tail that fans out and stands erect.

prchick-9411

Here are two videos of this: (I did take videos of this ritual but because I was in a blind with other photographers who were in “rapid fire” mode, it is hard to hear the chickens so I am choosing to use these videos instead)

 

5. Prairie chickens are polygamous and become sexually mature at one year of age.

prchick-95676. Booming rituals take place at “leks,” which are the “dance floors” for the birds. Leks don’t look very different than surrounding grassland but the males claim about 100 square feet of ground and then defend it against other interested males. Two males can often be seen facing off on their leks, then jumping into the air and having physical contact with their competition for the eligible females.

7. Females create a shallow depression and arrange grass into a bowl shape, lining it with sticks, leaves and feathers that she removes from her breast. She will lay 5-15 eggs and incubate them for 25 days. When the chicks hatch, they can feed immediately. They will stay with mom for 8 weeks.

Non-native ring-necked pheasants share habitat with prairie chickens

Non-native ring-necked pheasants share habitat with prairie chickens

8. Ring-necked pheasant females –another bird of the open grassland–sometimes lay their eggs in greater prairie chicken nests and these eggs hatch before the prairie chicken eggs. Female prairie chickens will then isolate these pheasant eggs, thinking they are theirs. As a result, their own eggs often do not survive.

9. Prairie chickens weigh in at 2-3 pounds and are 16.9 inches long.

prchick-942610. A group of prairie chickens is called a “little house” or a “pack” of prairie chickens.

Do you have anything to add about prairie chickens? Have you witnessed their booming ritual? As always, I’d love to hear from you! Use the comment box below to share your thoughts.

Posted in Animal Sounds, Animals, Birds, Did you know..., Encounters of the Furred Kind, Weekly Creature Feature | Also tagged , , , , , , Comments Off on 10 Things You May Not Know about Prairie Chickens

Ten Things That May Amaze You About Frogs & Toads

So in preparation for an amphibian program I had recently I did a lot of reading, much of which was fascinating but didn’t actually apply to my program because it was about amphibians in other parts of the world instead of here in western North Carolina.

Spring peeper

Spring peeper

Some of this stuff is right out of a science fiction movie so I decided to write a post about it. I suspect you will be as blown away as I was! We live in an amazing world and there are so many wickedly-awesome adaptations that animals have!

So here then, are 10 Things You May Not Know about frogs and Toads:

Frogs are slimy and hard to hold!

Frogs are slimy and hard to hold!

1. Have you ever touched a frog and noticed how slimy it was? That’s because they have mucus glands that secrete slime to keep them moist since they can obtain oxygen through their skin. They also breathe through their nostrils and lungs but about 50% of their oxygen is through their skin and when they are underwater, all of the oxygen exchange takes place through their skin.

2.Did you know frogs and toads shed their skin? Some do this daily, some weekly or less frequently. I have never seen this but have read that it’s like the frog suddenly has the hiccups and starts moving strangely, then peels off its outer skin, like removing a sweater. Then, guess what? It eats it! Yum.

3.Some frogs and toads, like our Cope’s gray tree frog, can change their color. Light, moisture, temperature and even mood can affect this!

Gray tree frogs can change colors!

Gray tree frogs can change colors!

4.The largest frog on Earth lives in West Africa and gets to be a foot long. It is aptly named the Goliath Frog. As for the smallest frog, it is a tie between the Gold Frog in Brazil and the Eleutherodactylus iberia (Yikes, I’m not going to try to pronounce that! Too bad they don’t have a common name yet for this frog!) that was discovered in 1996 in Cuba. Both are only about 9.8mm long! And we thought our spring peeper was tiny! (Our spring peeper is 1 inch long!)peep-5854

5. Many frogs and toads make noises to attract mates. They do their by inflating their vocal sac or sacs. (Some frogs have one but others have two, one on either side of their mouth) When they do this, it looks like they are chewing gum and blowing a giant bubble. Sometimes the noise of a lot of frogs doing this at once is DEAFENING! The songs can sometimes be heard a mile away! Ever wondered why they don’t go deaf with all of this noise? It’s because their ears or tympanums are connected to their lungs which also vibrate when they call. This pressure keeps frogs from hurting their own ears as they call. peep-

6.Have you heard of a pipi pipi toad? My gosh, this toad is incredible! The male actually embeds the female’s eggs onto her back, and then the skin grows over them so the developing eggs are INSIDE of her back! Then, incredibly, fully formed froglets hatch out several months later! Check out this video:

7. Maybe you’ve heard of Darwin’s Frog? This is a frog that looks like an overweight leaf and lives in the Amazon. The male actually swallows the tadpoles and then allows them to grow up INSIDE his vocal sac. Wait’ll you see what happens when they become fully formed frogs!

8. Wood frogs are a frog that we have here in the US, especially on the east coast, but even up as far north as the Arctic Circle. Amazingly, this frog can freeze solid–with more than 60% of its body frozen–and then just wake up and thaw out in the spring. As the first ice begins to form on their body, it sets off an alarm reaction which then triggers the production of glucose in their body. This acts like anti-freeze and protects the INSIDES of their cells from freezing. In less than 15 hours their heart stops beating, they don’t breath, no blood circulates. They look DEAD. But as long as the temperature doesn’t go below -8 degrees, they will wake up in the spring and head off to continue their lives!

Wood frogs freeze!

Wood frogs freeze!

9. Did you know frogs have teeth? They don’t look much like ours, but they do have teeth on their upper jaw. They use them to hold prey in place before swallowing it whole.

10. Frogs’ tongues are not connected in the back of their mouths like humans, but rather in the front so they can “throw it out of their mouths” and use its stickiness to catch prey. Here’s a video of this:

I hope you are as amazed by frogs as I am! It was hard to narrow it down to only 10.

If you want to read more, here are a few other links

10 things you may not know about wood frogs

Here are some recordings of the songs of an American Toad, Spring Peeper,and Pickerel Frog.

What cool facts do you know about frogs and toads that I have not included? As always, I would love to hear from you!

Posted in Amphibians, Animals, Did you know..., Ten Things, Weekly Creature Feature | Also tagged , , , , Comments Off on Ten Things That May Amaze You About Frogs & Toads