How come spotted marsh frogs are ok with cold?

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cferart
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How come spotted marsh frogs are ok with cold?

Postby cferart » Wed May 07, 2008 8:46 am

The weather is turner colder and we have had some reasonable rain :D . In walking around the garden at night, the only frog I see now are the Marshies... and they seem fit and fat!

I can hear the Brown tree frog calling... but all the other frogs must be hiding from the cold.

My query is what is it about the Marshie that allows them to cope and be active in the cold weather?

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Catherine

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Evan
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Postby Evan » Wed May 07, 2008 11:03 am

As the temperature decreases, the activity of enzymes (and therefore, metabolism of the organism) decreases. Humans don't have to worry about it as we remain a constant temperature, but the frogs deal with it by increasing the concentration of metabolic enzymes. With more enzymes, you can undertake more reactions, and therefore the decreased activity of the enzymes is offset. The concentration of enzymes is highly regulated, so only the neccesary enzymes are increased, and it is only increased in the required tissues (vocal sac muscles, amplexus muscles etc.)

I imagine this technique has evolved many, many times as it is quite a crude way of doing things.

Obviously, there is quite an advantage to calling and mating in winter. You have much less competition with other frogs. With both the tadpoles not having to compete as much, as we as the males not having to compete with other species for the airwaves.

As for the reason why some frogs do it and others don't? My guess is that if you are a success in summer, why waste energy in winter? It is the perfect time to go have a sleep because you can slow down your metabolism.

Hereis a paper to do with Stripeys and their acclimation to cold weather.

Hope this helps,

Evan

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Postby cferart » Wed May 07, 2008 1:54 pm

Thanks Evan, for explaining this, I had a look at the article but found your explanation easier to understand! :?

Observation in my garden would be that the spotted Marshies have adapted to the new ponds very quickly and laid eggs almost as soon as the water is added!

Other species are around and hopefully enjoy the garden but I don't think they have breed.

I have tadpoles in all my ponds, as far as I can tell all are Marsh taddies, and these range in size from large to pinhead.

It could be that the conditions in my garden particularly suit the Marshies in terms of breeding or they could be a very adaptable group....

They are not calling at the moment but they are hopping around enjoying the rain.

I would like some of the other species to breed.. and hope that as my garden and pond plantings grow more might take the plunge!!

Catherine

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Evan
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Postby Evan » Wed May 07, 2008 2:16 pm

Marshies move around a lot, and are probably just more likely to find new ponds because they move more. The others will probably colonise it next season.

Evan


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