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Amphibians

Amphibians
Amphibians lay their eggs in water, and young amphibians tend to resemble small fish. The tadpole, or newborn frog, is born and lives in water. It has a tail that allows it to swim like a fish. It also has gills so that it can breathe under water. As the tadpole grow into a frog, it loses its gills and tail, and develops legs for moving on land. Most amphibians can both walk and swim in water. Depending on the species of amphibian, breathing can take place in gills, lungs, the lining of the mouth, the skin, or some combination of these. Amphibians body temperature changes with its environment. In cold climates, amphibians hibernate during the winter.




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Hawaii's Hated Frogs
by Janet Raloff
Puerto Rico's beloved mascot is a miniature tree frog named for its distinctive call: ko-KEE. All night long, choirs of love-starved males serenade would-be mates, who respond with quiet guttural chuckles. "To me, it's pleasant just like birds singing," says Bryan Brunner, a University of Puerto Rico plant breeder in Mayaguez. "Here, everybody loves the coquies." And legend has it, he says, that coquies native only to Puerto Rico die of sadness when removed from their island. Hawaiians are lamenting that that fable isn't true.
Rate:  (3.1)
Amphibians Come Under Study
by Rex Dalton, San Diego
A disturbing trend of population declines and birth deformities in amphibians has prompted a US federal agency to launch an ambitious research programme. The national Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) has been set up by the US Department of the Interior with $5 million to study why frogs, salamanders and toads are in such trouble. An additional $2 million is being sought for next year's budget.
Rate:  (2.3)
Tomato Frog (Dyscophus antongilli)
Order: Anura, Family: Microphylidae
Tomato frogs are sexually dimorphic. The female ranges from reddish-orange to bright vermilion, and the male from dull orange to brownish-orange. Both males and females have a yellowish underside and black throat. Juveniles are dull in color, developing brighter coloration as they mature. The female tomato frog is larger than the male, measuring 3 to 4 inches long. The male is 2 to 21/2 inches long. The tomato frog has a squat body and narrow mouth; it has ridges of folds on the roof of its mouth.
Rate:  (3.9)
Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
Order: Caudata, Family: Ambystomatidae
The tiger salamander is named for its striped pattern. It is the world's largest land-dwelling salamander. The tiger salamander ranges from 6 to 13 inches long and is stout with a broad head and rounded snout. It has small, rounded eyes, and its feet have tubercles. It is brownish-olive in color with black and yellow spots or blotches. Its underside is usually yellow. The male tiger salamander tends to be longer with a more compressed tail and longer, stalkier hind legs than the female. Larvae have yellowish-green or olive bodies with dark blotches and a stripe along each s...
Rate:  (3.8)
Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
Order: Scaphiopus, Family: Pelobatidae
The spadefoot toad is a relatively moist, smooth-skinned amphibian. It has a horny, broad black "spade" on its webbed hind feet, which it uses for burrowing. Approximately 11/2 to 3 inches long, the spadefoot has large, bulgy eyes with vertical pupils. It is usually olive to brown in color with a pair of yellow stripes that extend from the eyes down the middle of the back.
Rate:  (3.8)
Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)
Order: Anura, Family: Ranidae
The golden mantella measures about 1 inch long and is a brilliant golden-orange color. It occasionally has red flash marks on the insides of its hind legs, and its eyes are jet-black. It has short legs and distinct adhesive disks on its fingers and toes. The sexes are dimorphic, with males generally smaller, slimmer and more angular in build than females.
Rate:  (3.7)
Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)
Order: Anura, Family: Hylidae
Nearctic: Delaware, eastern Maryland and Virgina, eastern North and South Carolina, southern Georgia, all of Florida, Alabama west to eastern Texas,and extending up the Mississippi Valley to extreme southern Illinois. Possibly northeastern Mexico.
Rate:  (3)
Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
Order: Anura, Family: Ranidae
Palearctic: Rana temporaria is a common terrestrial frog in Great Britain, Europe and northwestern Asia. In continental Europe they are referred to as "grass frog" or "brown frog". They are resistant to cold climates and live as far north as the Arctic circle in Scandinavia, farther north than any other amphibian in the region.
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California Newt (Taricha torosa)
Order: Caudata, Family: Salamandridae
The California newt is primarily located on the coastal range of California from Humbolt County to the Mexican border. Other isolated populations are also located in California, along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Rate:  (3.6)
American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Order: Anura, Family: Bufonidae
The American toad is located in the Midwestern to eastern region of North America. They range east of the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Coast, and from mid-Canada to Mexico.
Rate:  (3.6)
Freezing North American Wood Frogs
These frogs freeze completely when winter comes, entering a hibernation period. They actually stop their heartbeat, and thaw when spring comes..
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Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea)
Growling Grass Frog
These frogs vary in coloration from splendid to boring. They seem to adapt to their surroundings. The particular "Golden" color comes from yellowish accents along the sides of their bodies...surprisingly, the "golden" color really looks like 14k Gold!! Yet, this color fades and shines depending upon tank temp and mood. If they are agitated, the color is washed out. If the tank is too cold, they turn very dark. These frogs can grow quickly! In the first month, the Bell Frog can double in size.
Rate:  (2.4)