tag archives: amphibians

hawkesbury frogs!

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two days of continuous rain re-filled all the little landscape depressions and ephemeral ponds with plenty of water around richmond. the first night without rain was ideal for frog-spotting.

brianne and i embarked on a little night safari around campus, and found so many frogs that we didn’t actually get very far.

picture time!


amphibians music video

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check it out: a section of my time-lapse video of tadpole development was used (with permission) in the following music video for joe reilly’s “amphibians”.

i think this is the most unusual use of anything i have ever made. :)

[category: video] [tags: , ]

translucent glass frog

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i was fortunate enough to spend almost 5 weeks in costa rica earlier this year, and it was unbelievable: the trip itself, the people i went with and/or got to meet, the sheer diversity of life – from entire ecosystems down to curiously specialized organisms.
right now, i’m in the process of going through and organizing the many photos i took there… and even though i’ve only just finished day 6, i already know which picture i would choose, had i to limit myself to a single photo to show:

translucent glass frog (cochranella sp.) on a young dieffenbachia leaf, illuminated from below

what you see here, is a little glass frog (cochranella sp., centrolenidae), illuminated from below the leaf it’s sitting on with only a headlight.
glass frogs are aptly named for their often transparent abdominal skin. this allows one to see through its belly and make out some of the inner organs. the “x-ray effect” effect in the photo shows not only a vague blueprint of this glass frog (including the spine and individual vertebrae), but also “highlights” the one organ that must be as oblique as possible1 in order to work properly: the eye.
the young dieffenbachia leaf with its water conduit system tops the photo off with a perfect background.

  1. except, of course, at the pupil []

glass frog

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in the forests of venezuela, there’s a rare frog that offers views i never dreamt of: the glass frog (cochranella antisthenesi) is partly transparent and lets you see directly into its interior.

glass frog

in this picture by h. & h.j. koch, you can see a female and her eggs.

more information on the family of glass frogs (wikipedia): de, en

update: there’s a new post on glass frogs, that you might be interested in!

[category: nature] [tags: , ]

time-lapse: frog spawn (take 2)

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the following video provides a close-up view of the the development of 5 frog embryos.
11 days in 66 seconds:

more information on the making of this time-lapse video: [more...]

[categories: nature, photo, time lapse] [tags: , ]

coming up soon

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i’m in the process of making another frog spawn time-lapse video.

it looks quite promising so far: i’m getting high-resolution (both pixel- and time-wise) macro footage of 5 eggs.

this photo shows their current state:

frog spawn time lapse

day 6 is coming to an end, and they should soon hatch from their gelatinous eggs. [more...]

[categories: photo, time lapse] [tags: , ]


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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 []
[category: nature] [tags: ]