Skip to main content

The Frog Blog

I must make a vow never to prank again on April Fools's Day. Hopefully no one was taken in by the Stygian Owl - I'm sure no one was. But, the wrath of the Internet Gods roared down upon me, and I've since been unable to access the 'net. As a matter of fact, I'm blogging during a break at the 9th annual Ohio Botanical Symposium, being held at the beautiful Villa Milano in Columbus. Sorry, Internet Gods, and sorry pro-Stygian Owl anti-April Fool's Day anti-pranksters.

Frogs. Everyone loves 'em. And there is a bunch of 'em at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus. Normally I wouldn't blog a bunch of captive beasts, but these are just too cool not to share. If you are in the COSI 'hood, stop in and check them out.

The frog show has been very popular, to say the least. Throngs of frog-people pour in every day to ooh and aww over the critters.

Amerian Bullfrog, the token native species.

How about a Borneo Eared Frog? Look at it from the right angle, and you'll see the long pointy ears, a la Mr. Spock.

The Chinese Gliding Frog is one of those unbelievable marvels of nature. Like an amphibious flying squirrel, it can stretch tissue flaps and soar brief distances.

The Long-nosed Horned Frog is a study in sharp angularity, unlike most rounded frogs.

Fire-bellied Toad. Turn it over and there's a riot of brilliant yellow/orange color.

Living gargoyles: Waxy Monkey Frogs. Pensive-looking and creepy, they are probably the most popular act in the show.

Ornate Horned Frog, the Yoda of the frog world. It is like a big, soft, orbicular glob of slimy jello. Bizarre is an understatement.

Smoky Jungle Frog peeks from a nook. Viewing the frogs in their terraria is a treat. The exhibits are well done, and many of the frogs don't immediately reveal themselves.

A goggle-eyed African Clawed Frog. And claws do they have! Looks like the thing could really rake someone over the coals if it wanted to.

Easily the strangest of the lot are these Vietnamese Mossy Frogs. There's three in this shot - count 'em!

Another of the Vietnamese Mossy Frog. Very lichenlike and I imagine they can be virtually invisible in their wild haunts.

Finally, the poison frog display. While highly toxic, the brightly colored little jewels are beyond gorgeous.

Blue Poison Frog.

While not the showiest of the poison frogs, this one may be the deadliest. It is the Golden Poison Frog, Phyllobates terribilis, and believe me, you wouldn't want to get show by a hostile pygmy's arrow tipped in the juices of this one.
If you get the chance, visit COSI and marvel over some of the world's coolest frogs.

Comments

Anna said…
Wow so many different frogs, very interesting and wide range of looks, especially the Vietnamese Mossy Frogs, a bit scary. Anna :)
Tom said…
Nice frogs Jim. What's crazy is how many of these things are pretty common in the pet trade. Back in my younger days, It seemed like I always had a fire-bellied toad or so, and I even kept Dendrobates for a while, but raising fruit flies got to be old after a while. Thanks for the tip about the frogs, looks like they have more species there than the C-bus Zoo.

Tom
April Fool's Jokes, in the context of a blog, can blur the line between reality and news, and or fiction. Blogs already do that to a degree, I think. They are part news, but not really. They are like the WB Frog, they sing at their own whim, but when real news needs to be printed, or discussed, nary a sound be heard. Or something like that ...
KatDoc said…
Those Waxy Monkey Frogs really freak me out! Too weird.

Jabba the Hutt. That's what the Ornate Horned Frog reminds me of, not Yoda. (Showing my "Star Wars" geekiness with that comment.)

Cool photos, Jim, thanks for sharing.

~Kathi
dAwN said…
Cool! There certainly are some strange creatures in this world.
The gargoyle and the mossy were my favs.
NozeDive said…
I've been keeping Xenopus laevis as pets for almost twenty years. They're fascinating little creatures. If they're well taken care of, lifespans of ten to twenty years are not unheard of.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.


So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…