More frog info

Hi Everyone

Just a very quick reply to Heather – why do frogs hang about in ponds in the cold?

The answer is that this is a safe and warm place (relative to the air) which, as long as the water remains oxygenated, is a good place to overwinter.

And frogs have adaptations to this environment – being underwater in winter – though obviously they can stay on land too.

But when the oxygen runs out, underwater is fairly quickly a deadly place for frogs – they can survive probably a maximum of 7 days without oxygen.

So the question is – what type of ponds are most likely to become de-oygenated.

And that’s what we’re working on now – so will keep you posted with results from the Big Pond Thaw and other information.

Jeremy

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One Response to “More frog info”

  1. Becca Says:

    There is another reason why frogs like to stay in the pond through the winter – to be the first on the scene when potential breeding partners start coming back to breed in the spring.

    It is supposedly male frogs that overwinter in ponds (although I’ve never tested this) but it is a risky strategy, since they could die in severe weather and miss out on all the action. The females, apparently, prefer to play it safe and spend the winter tucked up snug elsewhere.

    I guess in mild winters it is a very successful strategy for the males in the pond as they get the pick of the females returning to the pond. Slower males that have to travel over land may get there too late and find all the females have already mated.

    You don’t see the same pattern in toads – they all stay on land, and the males compete for females en route, females often crawling to the pond with a male on her back, and in the water resulting in big balls of desperate males all fighting over one female.

    In newts, overwintering in ponds has nothing to do with sex, just food.

    B

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