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Posts Tagged ‘frogs’

(I was thinking about Inspector Clouseau, with the bumpf on his head…)

I came across an interesting book the other day: Central Park in the Dark: More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife by Marie Winn.

More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife

You should check it out as it’s chock full of interesting nature/science stuff. Plus, the author has an awesome blog: http://www.mariewinn.com/marieblog/

I miss going out on night hikes and monitoring frogs…sigh. There’s nothing better than being out in the park at night: no people, much less ambient noise, and it’s peaceful. Of course, some people are freaked out about being out in the woods in the dark. According to the author, there’s even a scientific name for this fear: nyctohylophobia. Usually, the worst thing that can happen to you in the forest at night, however, is that you will trip over something or get whacked in the face by a low branch.

Still, we all can give ourselves the heebie-jeebies at times. Years ago, I was frog monitoring (this involves walking a transect at night and counting the number and type of frogs we hear) with another park naturalist. For some reason, maybe too much caffeine or bigfoot stories, we both got spooked by a rustling off the trail in the bushes. It was like something was following us down the trail but hiding and lurking. Trembling, we both trained our flashlight beams on the sound. All of a sudden, something came out of the undergrowth with a crash. We both screamed and jumped about 4 feet in the air. It was an opossum. Admittedly a large one, but still, just an opossum. We told no one of our foolishness (until I blabbed today).

Oh, and don’t miss this blog:  http://urbanhawks.blogs.com/  with great pics of the birds in Central Park.

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I happened to look at the Yahoo article on the endangered Mississippi gopher frog… and then did some more searching and found this interesting article from the Georgia area Nature Conservancy.

Check out what a gopher frog sounds like here. Hmmm…are we sure they didn’t just tape my husband sleeping? ;-p

Best of all: they glow!

“Before they were released, John Jensen of the Georgia DNR injected all four metamorphosed frogs and many of the legged tadpoles with a small amount of fluorescent elastomer under the skin of the thighs.

Harmless to the critters, this bright orange substance illuminates under black light, allowing biologists to monitor the progress of these individuals as they continue to grow and breed.”

I suppose it’s only a matter of time before you can buy glow-in-the-dark frogs commercially (probably make a fortune selling them at a rave).

Here’s another nice article mentioning how they sometimes cover their eyes when picked up.

Finally, I bought the coolest insect toy (hey, it’s research for the children’s library…yeah, that’s the ticket…): BugBonz

I’m going to have to go back and buy the big set: ExoBonz Deluxe!

Wheeee!

You gotta love a company that makes these toys and publishes some top notch children’s books. Curious Pictures / Curious Toys publishes two of my favorite kids books:

 Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems (who, I just now discovered, is the director of Curious Pictures!)

Knuffle Bunny also by Mo Willems

{also found the Barbie “punk butterfly princess” on their site… which is just odd}

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