herpetopotable

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fun fact from the field of herpetology1:

the northern water-holding frog (cyclorana australis) may not be a very attractive or appealing amphibian, optically, but its strategy of surviving the dry summers of northern australia is somewhat special: it burrows deep into the ground, forms a water-proof cocoon made of shed skin, and estivates (estivation is similar to hibernation).
in order to survive several months – sometimes years – of dormancy, it has to dramatically lower its metabolism and needs sufficient supplies of the most important things for life: energy (i.e. fat) and water (which is stored in their enlarged bladder).

aborigines have been using the frogs for many generations: “the aborigines dig them out and use them as a source of water, placing the frog’s rear end into their mouths and squeezing the water out.”2
 

i also liked warren’s explanation on how the frogs can stay alive underground for several years: “Because I ain’t no biologist, I have decided that it is magic.”

  1. herpetology is a branch of zoology which deals with reptiles and amphibians []
  2. from: Hibernation, C. Roots, Greenwood Press 2006 []
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