Jack the Frog

Jack the FrogI am taking a handful of classes this semester. It is my second semester here at Henderson, and I am trying to mix the required stuff with some fun media stuff. Sometimes the required becomes fun. Biology lab was a blast this week.

Typically, Biology lab is microscope work. For example, last week we examined bull semen under the scopes. Sometimes it's homework, like classifying new species of pocketbeastus. This week it was frogs.

Best FriendsSome animals hibernate to get through the cold wintery months. During these months it is difficult to find food, because the cold weather slows the creatures down. For example, the colder it is, the slower a frog can hop, making him slower at catching food, and slower at running away from being eaten. So, during the cold slow winter, frogs dig down deep into the mud, below the freeze line, and simply hibernate for a few months.

The goal of the lab was to take frogs in room-temperature environments and simulate a season change. We wanted the frogs to think winter was coming, and to prepare to hibernate so we could watch them. It takes about a month for the change to happen in the wild from normal temperatures to near freezing temperatures. We did it in about 12mins.

Jack taking a quick nap

There was a tank with about 18 leopard frogs in it. We chose one and put him (we're positive it was a him) in a small beaker. We filled a large beaker with ice water, and set the small in the large. This chilled the small without bringing it completely to freezing, and without ice contacting the frog's sensitive skin.

As the temperature lowered, the frog got as low he could in the beaker, braced himself in a defensive stance, turned pink, and fell asleep into hibernation. He was prepared for a few months like this. After he was ready we plopped him out onto the lab desk and watched him warm up. He slowly woke up and began acclimating himself with the new warmer environment. Like I said, the warmer it is, the faster they can jump. As he warmed, he became more and more active, until we had to put him back in the tank with his friends, because he was jumping around like a madMan (madFrog).

"crab legs come from crabs"

Jack was a really good boy for us. We found out he was a boy because... (it's about to get serious)

During mating season, male frogs jump on other frogs' backs, trying to find a female to mate with. If a male accidentally jumps on another male, this male will ribbit in a way that's code for "dude, I'm a dude". Well, Jack was doing that when my lab partner Liz would grab his back. He thought Liz was a dude frog, and he thought she meant business.

Lab was great. It made for some good, wholesome blog content, too. Thanks for reading!