One-toe, Two-toed, Three-toed: The Amphiumas

Photo © Brian Gratwicke I’ve long fostered a love affair with the Floridian wetlands. How the cool, damp foliage surrenders under the weight of a heavy hiking boot. The way invertebrates hum and buzz and strum, chorusing in all their vivaciousness under the moonglow of a still night. Green tree frogs, male, eager to spread [...]

Carbon Farming Down a 400pm Carbon Climate

Green tree frog © Andrea Westmoreland/Flickr Our window’s slowly—but surely, with greater and greater haste—closing-up on a inevitably warmer world.  Like a sinking Volvo in the Susquehanna River, we are desperately yearning, searching, fiddling for a way to equalize the cabin’s pressure; we’re beginning to see reality through a much more creative, introspective, morose lense. Do [...]

Mortality at the hands of permeable opulence – Golden dart frogs

Photo © Orias1978 As a species, we’re drawn toward ease. It’s survival—or, rather, it’s instinct. By extension, man is equally enamored by connotations, embolden representations of simplicity. Pearls fall down necks in strings of serenity; gold blinds in the morning sun small refractions of financial stability and situational affluency. SIlver delights in it’s less dramatic [...]

Under stepping stones and casted silhouettes: Spring salamanders (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus)

Spring salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) © David Huth/Flickr My youth in upstate New York was spent knee-high wading through slow moving creeks, turning over half-submerged rocks with breath-held difficulty. Failing at times, succeeding at others, more or less trailed by the same outcome: a biologically listless discovery, only having disturbed an adult crawfish scurrying through the cloaked [...]

An ape among anurans: Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Phyllomedusa sauvagii © Tom Thai/ Flickr As any well-seasoned taxonomist—or, really, any man or woman of science—can tell you: the analogous venn diagram where amphibians circle one half and the other half by primates don’t rarely overlap. It’s an obvious inference. Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) don’t begin life as wriggling tadpoles; Eastern Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus a. [...]

From the country of immigrants, a melting pot of an Anuran: (Anaxyrus americanus)

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][text_output]From East to West, North to South—well, more so East and North than the others—North America’s home to an iconoclastic amphibian. Any youth who grew-up in its home range would be able to pick it out from a criminal-like lineup, no doubt; it’s, for many, the first encounter they’ll have with a warty anuran. [...]

Hylids searching for eye drops: The Red-eye Tree Frogs (Agalychnis callidryas)

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][text_output]Inflammation has a cardinal color of choice—red, blood red. It’s a bothersome itch, the worrisome hump on your upper-arm, an uncanny canker sore; all of them ringed by hues of secondary reds. The inducing discomfort that follows is unbearable to many—and pharmaceuticals have capitalized on this situational nuisance. But the amphibious ilk we share [...]

The pregnancy test that gave a positive for chytridiomycosis: The introduction of Xenopus laevis

One-line, two-line, the linear outcome of the fertility pee-stick we now find in all of our major drug stores. But these fifteen-minute, life-altering hormonal tests weren’t always the go-to precursor to pregnancy; in fact, they simply didn’t until the late 70’s.[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][text_output]But the amphibian taxa is croaking with solutions. A decade before the drug store [...]

“Peering Through the Looking Glass”—The Frogs of Centrolenidae

Cricket glass frogs (Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum), like the one pictured above, can be uncommonly found in the dense tropical forests of Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia. Sexually dimorphic, the oviparous females are often times larger than their male suitors. Photo © Brian Gratwicke Amphibians—by the nature of their anatomy—are exposed, fragile creatures. And this factoid is only [...]