Freakiest frog everrrrrrr!

Well, technically speaking, the freakiest frog ever is NOT a frog.

It’s a TOAD.

A Surinam sea toad.

And it’s soooo FREAKY that it’s TOTALLY AWESOME!

The Surinam sea toad has adapted in the most amazing way. Only nature could have thought of this!

To keep their babies safe until they are big enough to survive on their own, Surinam sea toads implant eggs into the skin of the female’s back. The larvae develop into tadpoles which remain protected until they emerge as fully developed toads.

It’s genius!

And totally GROSS!

Check out the video. Eugh !!!!!

Large flippered feet and greatly flattened bodies make these amphibians well suited to life in South America’s murky ponds and swamps, but habitat loss means this their future survival is currently regarded as threatened.

Are they adorable? Or horrifying?

One thing’s for sure. They are toad-ally FREAKY!

Top ten frog adaptations

All animals adapt to survive in the wild, and frogs are no exception. Here is a list of the top ten physical adaptations that enable frogs to thrive in wetlands.

1. Legs: Frogs have very powerful back legs and webbed feet that help them swim and jump.

croaking-frogSome frogs even use their legs to dig, or burrow underground for hibernating. Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single bound.

2. Skin: Frogs can breathe though their skin so they can stay underwater as long as they want.

3. Skin: Frogs don’t drink water through their mouths at all, instead they soak it into their bodies through their skin.

orange-frog

 

 

4. Skin: Frog skin is often camouflaged to hide from predators. Some frogs can change the colour of their skin depending on its surroundings.

5. Skin: Some frogs secrete poison through their skin. Many of the more easily visible, brightly colored tropical frogs are colored in this way to warn predators that they are poisonous.

6. Croaks: Frogs attract each other for mating with their croak. Each frog species has a distinct croak. They have vocal sacs, which fill with air, and can amplify the sound up to a mile away.

7. Tongue: When a frog spots a tasty meal, it flicks out its long, sticky tongue. The tongue wraps around the meal/insect and pulls it back into the frog’s mouth. Unlike humans, a frog’s tongue is not attached to the back of its mouth. Instead it is attached to the front, enabling the frog to stick its tongue out much further.

8. Teeth: Frogs do have teeth, but they are small and not good for chewing. Instead, close-up-frogfrogs use their teeth to hold their prey in their mouths until they are ready to swallow.

9. Eyes: Frogs swallow using their eyes. Its eyes retract into its head and push the food down its throat. Frog’ eyes are on top of their heads so when they swim close to the surface of the water, only their eyes are exposed. This way, they can quickly spot danger before danger spots them.

10. Eyes: Frogs can see forwards, sideways and upwards all at the same time and never close their eyes, even when they sleep. They even have a third eyelid which is see-through and protects the frog’s sensitive eyes when it is under water.

The Desert Rain Frog

Not all frogs live near water. In fact some frogs, like this one, live where there’s no water at all.

Yes I agree, this may be the cutest frog in the world!

Just like a squeaky baby toy.

But the Desert Rain Frog, which is found along the western coast of Namibia and South Africa, is currently listed as vulnerable due to habitat loss – which is one step away from being endangered and that is really not good at all.

How can this frog live in such dry conditions?

The Desert Rain Frog has no tadpole stage and survives by burrowing under the sand to find moisture. It has a spherical body (a clever adaptation which means it retains water for longer) and feet built for digging.

I love this frog! Do you?

Now it’s time to watch that video again. So awesome, right?!

Recycling Plastics

What are plastics used for?One-Home

Plastic is light and durable, can be easily coloured and is one of the most commonly used materials today.

It is used in food packaging, toys, furniture, buttons, water hoses, credit cards, light switches, computer keyboards and even our clothes!

Even polyester (a kind of fabric) is made from plastic.

In fact, you need 25 two litre plastic bottles to make one adult polyester jacket!

Plastic bottles are used to package liquids – juice, milk, shampoo, cooking oil, fizzy drinks and more.plastic-water-bottles

It is also used to make plastic bags, which people use for grocery shopping.

Did you know?

Shoppers use ONE TRILLION plastic bags worldwide per year?

Australians alone use 10 MILLION plastic bags EVERY DAY.

Only 3% of Australian plastic bags are recycled.

All plastic bottles (except for the brown ones used to contain beer) are recyclable.

The energy saved by recycling one plastic drink bottle will power a light globe for 6 hours or a computer for 25 minutes.

It is estimated that it takes 400 to 1000 years or more for plastic to degrade.

sea-turtleOne piece of plastic can kill many animals. If one animal eats a plastic bag, that animal dies and decomposes, releasing the bag back into the environment.

Recycled plastic bottles can be made into all sorts of new things, including fleece clothing, garden furniture, seed trays, the fiber filling for doonas and sleeping bags, drain pipes, compost bins, and of course, new bottles.

 

 

What can we do?recyce

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Use reusable cloth bags at the supermarket.

Where possible, buy glass instead of plastic.

To reduce harm to animals, cut the rings from bottle necks and six-pack holders before you dispose of them.

Plastic bags, bin liners, and cling wrap are not recyclable. However, many Australian supermarkets have special plastic bag recycling bins (ask at customer service).

If you cannot find a supermarket that will accept your plastic bags for recycling, your household garbage bin is the next best place to dispose of them.

When placing plastic bags into household garbage, reuse them as the garbage bag itself, and tie the tops together to prevent them blowing away.

When buying plastic, look for its identification code to identify the type of resin used.

Here are some common products you will find for each type of plastic:

small recycle 1

 

PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – soft drink and fruit juice bottles

 

small recycle 2

 

HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – milk bottles or shampoo containers

 

small recycle 3

 

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride or plasticised polyvinyl chloride) – cordial, juice or squeeze bottles

 

small recycle 4

LDPE (Low density polyethylene) – garbage bags and bins

 

 

small recycle 5

PP (Polypropylene) – ice cream containers, take-away food containers and lunch boxes

 

 

small recycle 6

PS (Polystyrene) – yoghurt containers, plastic cutlery, foam hot drink cups

 

 

small-recycle-7

 

Other – all other plastics, including acrylic and nylon

 

Your local council may only be able to recycle certain types through your kerbside recycling program. In Australia, most areas recycle plastics labelled 1, 2, and 3, although many councils are now extending their programs to include those labelled 4 through 7. Check with your council for details.

Make sure you are aware about what plastics can be recycled and only put these in your recycling bins. Contamination of recyclables is a problem because it raises the costs for collectors, recyclers and the community.

When preparing your plastics for recycling;

  • plastic-pollutionTake off lids.
  • Wash thoroughly (conserving water).
  • Squash flat, so it takes up less space.

Western Swamp Tortoise – Factsheet

The Western Swamp Tortoise is AUSTRALIA’S MOST ENDANGERED REPTILE.

They were believed to be extinct for over 100 years until they were rediscovered by a fifteen year old school boy in 1953.

What do they look like?

They are about as big as your hand and look like this.

Tortoise-in-oval-fade

So cute!

Animated turtle

How many are there?

There are less than 50 adult tortoises tortoises living in the wild today.

Where do they live?

They are found in two small wetlands only. The Twin Swamps and Ellen Brook Nature Reserve in the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia.

These habitats cover 5.5 kilometers square altogether – approximately one quarter the size of Rottnest Island !

What is threatening them?

The tiny area they live in has been reduced even further by draining and filling to make way for market gardens and roads.

fox

The Western Swamp Tortoise hybernates during the hot dry months and are particularly susceptible to predators during this time, especially introduced species such as cats and foxes.

feral-cat

Breeding age is not reached until eight years old and eggs are dependent on early winter rains. If the rains don’t come, the babies won’t survive.

Conservation Efforts

In 1988 a breeding program was set up at the Perth Zoo. Since then, many tortoises have been successfully bred and released into the wild and their remaining habitat is now protected.

For more information about the breeding program go to Perth Zoo.

The protected wetlands are now lined with electric fences to keep out foxes, dogs and other predators.

During the winter months, if rainfall is low, water is pumped into the area to ensure the hatchlings have enough water and food.

WST1How can you help?

Report any sightings.

Talk to your teachers and friends about it. Show them this blog.

Stop water table reduction by SAVING WATER at home and at school.

Prevent bush fires.

Contact Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise and ask them to visit your school.

For more information and contact details go to Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise 

Frog Funnies

sherlock frogQ: Why are frogs so happy?

A: They eat whatever bugs them!

Q: How does a frog feel when he has a broken leg?

A: Unhoppy.

Q: Why did the frog read Sherlock Holmes?

A: He liked a good croak and dagger.

Q: What happened to the frog’s car when his parking meter expired?stylish-frog

A: It got toad!!

Q: What’s green green green green green?

A: A frog rolling down a hill

Q: What did the frog order at McDonald’s?

A: A hoppy meal with french flies and a diet croak

Q: Why did the frog say meow?

A: He was learning a foreign language.

Q: What do stylish frogs wear?

A: Jumpsuits!

Q: Why did the frog go to the hospital?

A: He needed a hopperation !

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the blog

Hello everyone. Thank you for dropping by and welcome to the blog.

Full of fun facts, educational tidbits and the occasional snot joke, this blog will put a smile on your face and (hopefully) teach you a thing or two as well. Take a look around. We hope you have fun.

If you found this blog, it means you know the exciting news!

Darcy Moon and the deep-fried frogs will be released by Fremantle Press on 1st March 2014. Yippee!

DarcyMoon_coverweb

It’s not long until you can buy your very own book!

But in the mean time, why not leap into some froggy fun by exploring the blog.

To join simply;

  • subscribe to the blog by entering your email (to the right),
  • ‘like’ our facebook page,
  • or follow us on twitter #darcymoon.

The Book

Darcy Moon and the deep-fried frogs is a slimy adventure story with environmental themes and more slimy snotty stuff than most other books.

Darcy Moon is an ordinary girl with ordinary problems. She’s low on cash and low on the necessary street cred to fit in with the cool crowd. But Darcy’s life is about to take a great leap forward. When a freaked-out frog asks for help, it’s up to her to fix the food chain, save the swamp and prove that money can’t buy everything.

DarcyMoon_coverweb

Click here for sample chapters.

Darcy Moon and the deep-fried frogs is written by Catherine Carvell and illustrated by Michael Scott Parkinson.

It is available from all good book stores in both Australia, Singapore, the US and Turkey as well as online from Fremantle Press and Closetful of Books.

‘Hoppy’ reading !