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Monday, March 9, 2015

A Frog from the Bog...!

While we were busy working at Munsley Bog, we came across this little fellow....

Carrie's Nature Natter.

This weeks's find is one of our most well-known amphibians – the common frog (Rana Temporaria (see pictures).  This was kindly identified by the lovely people at "Froglife", a fascinating website that is well worth a view. These frogs are typically brown or greyish in colour, while some may be yellow or reddish.  The flanks are usually yellow, the underside white and the upper surfaces feature variable blackish markings.  Their large hind legs feature webbed feet, to power their strong jumps and excellent swimming ability, and are covered with dark bands to provide camouflage.  The males tend on average to be slightly smaller than the females, and can be identified by whitish swellings on the inner digits of the front feet.

They hibernate through the winter, either at the bottom of ponds (breathing through their skin) or on land under such refuges as compost heaps.  During the remainder of the year they hunt on land on damp nights, feeding on snails, slugs, worms and a range of insects.  In spring the males arrive at the breeding area first, with lots of competition for the attention of the females.  All the frogs in a pond tend to spawn roughly within a few days of each other, with the female releasing 1,000 – 2,000 eggs which the males cover in jelly, giving us “frogspawn”.  After 10-14 days the tadpoles hatch out, becoming free-swimming a few days later, and undergoing metamorphosis into adults 10-15 weeks after hatching.

Many thanks to Carrie for doing the research and for the photographs.

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