Toad surfing


We are working on the seven-year-old's spring project. At his school, 1st through 4th graders do an individual project each semester, giving them a chance to explore an area of interest in depth and then put together some sort of display to explain it to classmates and parents. Last semester Joseph did the aerodynamics of paper airplanes. This semester, it's toads.

While looking up some info on the web about toads, I found a few interesting items:

Here is an exposé of a three-headed frog story that made the British tabloids this March. The author of the page says it looks like three frogs in amplexus -- a mating ball -- and quotes someone saying that during amplexus frogs and toads secrete mucus to make them stick together better. The same page has a link near the bottom to an amazing little film. Do not follow that link if work somewhere with amphibian employees, as it may tend to create a hostile work environment for them.

Another link on that page leads to this fascinating diary of life in a garden in Aldershot, Hampshire, England. One section of the diary tracks the lifecycle of frogs and newts in the garden pond. There are some astounding photos of frog embryos. And the proprietor of the site is kind enough to tell us how he managed to take those amazing pictures. Elsewhere on the site is a webcam installed in a birdhouse, which has been watching a nest of Great Tits -- the babies are about two weeks old.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 15, 2004 1:08 AM.

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