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Frogs For Snakes _BEST_

Wisconsin is home to 19 species of amphibians (frogs and salamanders) and 36 reptiles (snakes, turtles and lizards). For detailed information on the rare amphibian and reptile species in the state, including photos and life history information, please see Wisconsin's rare animals.

Frogs for Snakes

Snakes play very important roles in many natural communities as predators and prey. They are extremely valuable to the agricultural community by keeping grain-eating mammals in check. Recent studies suggest that snakes are also valuable in reducing disease threats posed by high rodent populations. Many snake populations have declined in Wisconsin due to habitat loss and human persecution. Even today, people who do not understand or appreciate their value continue to needlessly kill them. Of Wisconsin's 21 species, 14 are considered "rare" and listed as endangered, threatened or special concern.

I can read it all by myself! Young readers will be excited to learn about two of their favorite animals in this fun, fact-filled book. Close-up photographs of real frogs and snakes will fascinate young readers as they keep reading to learn about the behaviors, diets, habits, and more of these interesting animals. Facts About Frogs & Snakes is just right for children reading at Level 2. Five challenge words will help them stretch their skills.

To find out more about frogs, do research on one of these topics: what kinds of frogs live in your area? Can you find more than one species of tadpole locally? If so, compare them. What do local frogs eat? How would the mosquito population be affected if there were few or no frogs in a swampy region? Pick a frog or frog characteristic that is interesting to you, and see what you can find out about it. Look for close-up frog pictures in a magazine like National Geographic or on a website.

Snakes have a tough coating of scales made of keratin, the same protein that forms your hair and fingernails. Each species either has smooth scales or rougher keeled ones, with a unique pattern of scales and coloring. They also have long horizontal scales on their belly that help them move across surfaces. Both frogs and snakes (as well as other reptiles) molt, or shed their skin. Frogs change their skin about once a week! Although all reptiles shed their skin as they grow, snakes lose their skin in a whole piece rather than pieces flaking off.

Have you ever wondered how frogs breathe? When under water, frogs get their oxygen from water that passes through their skin. Capillaries take the oxygen from the skin into the bloodstream. On land, frogs usually get oxygen by taking air through their throats into saclike lungs.

Frog dissections are a great way to learn about the human body, as frogs have many organs and tissues similar to those of humans. It is important to determine which type of dissection is best for your student or child. Some individuals do not enjoy performing...

Livers of bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated watershed and hazardous waste site located in Pickens County, South Carolina, contained significantly higher concentrations of PCBs (2.33 and 2.26 ppm, respectively) than those from a reference site (0.05 ppm). Green frogs (R. clamitans) from the two contaminated sites also accumulated higher levels of PCBs (2.37 and 3.88 ppm, respectively) than those from the reference site (0.02 ppm). No temporal variation was observed in PCB concentrations of bullfrogs or green frogs from the contaminated sites between 1992 and 1993. Levels of PCBs in the livers of northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) were significantly higher in snakes from the contaminated watershed (13.70 ppm) than in those from the waste site (2.29 ppm) and two reference sites (2.50 and 1.23 ppm). When compared to frogs, significantly higher bioaccumulation occurred in water snakes from the contaminated watershed. No significant differences in PCB levels were found with respect to sex or body size (snout-vent length (SVL) or body mass) for frogs or snakes. PCBs were detected also in eggs of both frogs and snakes. Results of this study provide baseline data and document the bioaccumulation of PCB residues in frog and snake tissues; however, the significance of these tissue residues to reproduction, survival, growth/development, and population dynamics in contaminated habitats is unknown.

As a result of this site visit, I learned first-hand how to conduct cover board and drift fence surveys for San Francisco garter snake, as well as how to handle, measure, sex and mark snakes in the field to obtain important information without causing undue harm to the captured individuals. I also have a much clearer understanding of the planning that goes into California red-legged frog pond restoration and creation and the challenges of managing these habitats for multiple uses (e.g., preservation of natural and cultural resources, recreation, livestock grazing, etc.).

Much like turtles, frog species that spend a lot of their time in water, such as the Southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala utricularia) and the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), will overwinter underwater. These frogs live off of extra energy stores within their bodies that they built up specifically for the winter months.

However, unlike turtles, frogs cannot bury themselves completely under the mud; rather, they can only bury themselves partially. With their skin exposed above mud, frogs can often get all of the oxygen they need to survive the winter through their skin!

When dissolved oxygen levels in the water drop, overwintering frogs are faced with a serious challenge, as they cannot survive more than a few days without the right amount of oxygen present. If such a challenge occurs, some frogs have the capability of sensing it and can undergo what is called behavioral hypothermia. In other words, the frogs will actually move to colder water in order to further lower their metabolism, which ends up increasing the amount of oxygen in their blood to keep them alive longer. But, if there is plenty of oxygen in the water, the frogs can actually move to a nearby spot with relatively warmer water.

Terrestrial or land loving frogs have a different strategy to deal with winter. They will find a damp area in underground burrows, under leaf litter, or in deep crevices to escape freezing temperatures and frost.

To escape the cold, these snakes overwinter in sheltered places such as burrows, rock crevices, and wood piles. Interestingly, many snakes will brumate in the same place each year, and often, they are not alone. It is common for snakes to spend the winter in a hibernaculum with other snakes, either of the same species or multiple different species.

Although the snakes may move a bit and drink a little water, they mostly remain within the hibernaculum with a slowed heartbeat and metabolism and no food until the weather is consistently warmer. Within their hibernaculum, though, some snakes may move around to relatively warmer spots to help increase their body temperature5.

5Macartney, J. M., Larsen, K. W., and P. T. Gregory. 1989. Body temperatures and movements of hibernating snakes (Crotalus and Thamnophis) and thermal gradients of natural hibernacula. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 67: 108-114.

Many snakes make meals of frogs, but some appear to be transferring their DNA into the amphibians as well. A genetic analysis suggests that parasites shared between snakes and frogs may facilitate the movement of genetic material from one species to another.

For knife-toothed kukri snakes, the tastiest parts of a frog are its organs, preferably sliced out of the body cavity and eaten while the frog is still alive. After observing this grisly habit for the first time in Thailand, scientists have spotted two more kukri snake species that feast on the organs of living frogs and toads.

The new (and gory) observations suggested that this behavior is more widespread in this snake group than expected. Two snakes also eventually swallowed their prey whole, raising new questions about why they would extract the living animals' organs first.

The scientists documented a Taiwanese kukri snake (Oligodon formosanus) and an ocellated kukri snake (Oligodon ocellatus) pursuing amphibian organ meals, tearing open frogs' and toads' abdomens and burying their heads inside, according to the studies. O. formosanus would even perform "death rolls" while clutching its prey, perhaps to shake the organs loose. As the snakes swallowed the organs one by one, the amphibians were still alive. Sometimes, the process would take hours, the researchers reported.

There are 83 species of kukri snakes in the Oligodon genus in Asia. The snakes typically measure no more than 3 feet (100 centimeters) long, and the group's name comes from the kukri, a curved machete from Nepal, as its shape is reminiscent of the snakes' large, highly modified rear teeth. Kukri snakes use these teeth for slicing into eggs, but they can also be formidable slashing weapons (as some very unfortunate frogs have discovered).

In one study, published Feb. 15 in the journal Herpetozoa, scientists described three snake attacks on rotund banded bullfrogs (Kaloula pulchra), which are so round that they are also known as bubble frogs or chubby frogs. They have brown backs with lighter stripes down their sides and cream-colored stomachs, and they measure up to 3 inches (8 cm) long, according to Thai National Parks.

Two of the attacks were by Taiwanese kukri snakes, and took place in Hong Kong in October 2020. One snake, filmed on Oct. 2 in a residential neighborhood garden, emerged from a hole in the ground to bite a passing bubble frog, slicing open the frog and stuffing its head inside. Snake and frog tussled for about 40 minutes; the snake performed about 15 body rotations, or "death rolls," during the battle, according to the study.

In the 2020 study about small-banded kukri snakes eviscerating Asian common toads, the scientists hypothesized that the snakes selectively ate the organs to avoid the toads' deadly toxins. However, the ocellated kukri snake swallowed the toad after its organ appetizer, hinting that the snakes might have some natural resistance to the toads' poison. 041b061a72


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