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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Amphibian Breeding Migrations – Protecting a Spectacular Rite of Spring – Part 2

American Green Tree frog with distended vocal sacIn Part I of this article I wrote about the huge numbers of Spotted Salamanders, Spring Peepers, Tiger Salamanders, Wood Frogs and other amphibians that are right now (March/April, 2010) approaching and entering their breeding ponds.  Today I’ll highlight some important programs that you can become involved in if you wish to observe and help protect this wonderful yearly phenomenon. Read More »

Amazing Fossil Confirms that Ancient Snakes Consumed Dinosaurs

TitanoboaHerp enthusiasts grow up hearing such things as “Reptiles and amphibians are older than the dinosaurs…”, but it is hard to imagine what this means – to actually picture creatures that look like modern-day turtles or frogs interacting with dinosaurs.  Well, interact they did – a fossil unearthed in Western India depicts a snake about to consume a young dinosaur. Read More »

Amphibian Breeding Migrations – Protecting a Spectacular Rite of Spring – Part 1

Spring PeeperOther amphibian enthusiasts and I have long trudged about on cold, rainy spring nights in pursuit of one of North America’s most amazing amphibian events – the annual migrations of Tiger Salamanders, Spotted Salamanders, Wood Frogs, Spring Peepers and other early spring breeders.  Laughed at even by other nature enthusiasts for our odd passions (birders, for example, get to watch Yellow Warblers nesting in blossom-laden trees on warm May mornings!), we are now having our day – plummeting amphibian populations worldwide are causing folks to take notice…and action. Read More »

Breeding the Green and Gold Bell Frog and Welcoming its “Extinct” Relative – Part 1

Green and Golden Bell FrogAmphibian enthusiasts were thrilled with the recent announcement that Australia’s Gold Spotted Bell Frog (Litoria castanea), feared extinct for the past 30 years, still survives in the South Tablelands area of New South Wales.  Some years ago I bred a related species, the Green and Gold Bell Frog, L. aurea, (pictured here) at the Bronx Zoo – hopefully the lessons learned by myself and others working with that species will prove useful in the current Gold Spotted Bell Frog recovery effort. Read More »

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