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© Lora Denis
One of my first introductions to nature as a kid was observing tadpoles on the Toronto Islands and catching frogs at the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. No outdoor adventure was complete without looking for and finding frogs.
After you’ve been in the business of catching frogs for over 20 years, you know that it takes dexterity and patience! My time spent watching these animals has given me a great appreciation for their unique biology. On World Frog Day, here are some of the reasons why I love frogs (and you should, too).
They like to sing in the rain. The high-pitched call of spring peepers with the first warm rainy nights of spring is a welcome sign that warmer weather is on its way.
They have superhero powers. Frogs possess some superhero-like characteristics. The gray treefrog is a lichen mimic and has the ability to change colour from green to gray to olive-brown, based on the temperature and light, in order to blend into its surrounding environment. This species, as well as others in the Treefrog or Hylidae family, have sticky toepads that allow them to climb vertically.
They know how to stay cool. In order to survive the cold Canadian winters, frogs use cryoprotectants, which act like anti-freeze by protecting their tissues from damage caused by ice crystal formation.
They really know how to make things stick. The saliva on a frog’s soft, sling shot-like tongue is 50,000 times stickier than human saliva, and a recent study shows that frogs use their eyes to help unstick prey from their tongue into their stomach.
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I live near Leslie& Steeles Ave E off Bluffwood & Steeles Ave and have been hearing a chortle clucking sound since middle of July till Aug 31. When I discovered a Gray Tree Frog on the side of my 18” cedar wood planter on the deck which is the second floor of our townhouse. I sent a picture of it to Lisa at Ontario Nature who confirmed it as a Gray Treefrog! I’m worried about winter and wonder if I should move it to my garden.
Yes, moving the gray treefrog to your garden instead of the second floor would be better move. Is there a pond or waterbody very close by? If so, moving the gray treefrog directly there could help it as well.