Fracts #4 – What a frog might say

Do you know that for some species of frogs, only the males sing?

Every different species of frog makes it’s own special sound and it is only the male frog that can croak. They have a small sac in their throats that vibrates the air as they slowly let it out.

Other types of frogs appear to have both male and female calls.

Large frogs have deep voices, meaning they call at a low frequency. For example, the Male American Bullfrog’s call is reminiscent of the roar of a bull, which gives the frog its common name.

Small frogs sing in high chirps, meaning they call at a high frequency.

Cold frogs repeat their calls at a slower rate because the muscles controlling the sounds slow down!

Why do frogs sing? Well…it’s actually for a variety of reasons!

Sometimes, frogs sing when they are trying to attract a mate. “HEY! Baby!”
Sometimes, frogs sing to mark their territory. “This is MY Lilypad!”
Sometimes, frogs sing becasue they know the weather is going to change. “Rain!!!”
Sometimes, frogs squeek when they are frightened or hurt. “Ouch! Eek!”

A bonus joke for today’s Fracts,

frog joke 1

Fracts #3 – The effects of Globalisation on frogs

Globalisation is an intensively debated topic and encompasses many different areas. For this article, we shall define globalisation as the intensification of trade within nations, specifically the import and export of frogs. Frogs can be found in almost every corner of the Earth and this had allowed them to diversify into 4000 types including toads. Each species of frog has it’s own niche that enables them to thrive in their environment, hence making them the best bioindicators to study the ecosystem.

Quoted by Charles Darwin,

“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”

For example, tadpoles keep waterways clean by feeding on algae. Adult frogs eat large quantities of insects, including disease vectors that can transmit fatal illnesses to humans (i.e. mosquitoes/malaria). Frogs also serve as an important food source to a diverse array of predators, including dragonflies, fish, snakes, birds, beetles, centipedes and even monkeys.

Thus, a decrease in frog populations disturbs an intricate food web, and results in negative impacts that cascade through the ecosystem.

In our previous Fracts #2, we have discussed how Scientists around the world had been using South African Clawed Frogs for research as well as conducting pregnancy test. In Fracts #3, we will be exploring the implications of such activity.

Yes, frogs may have adapted well to its environment. However, the introduction of foreign species not only increase competition of getting food and space, it also introduces new diseases and other threats (as introduced in our Fracts #1 – The Amphibian Crisis)

A case study

Inadvertently introduced to Australia when the African clawed frog was imported for use in a pregnancy test, chytrid fungus is a global problem threatening all species of frogs, including Australia’s critically endangered southern corroboree frog and the stuttering frog.

A water-borne disease, chytrid fungus attacks the keratin in the skin around the animal’s feet and under the mouth. The theory is that this effects the iron balance in the body, which has neurological effects. Infected frogs become lethargic and unable to eat but probably die

There is currently no treatment or effective infection control for the fungus in the wild.

In conclusion, the balance of the ecosystem is fragile in such a way that any slight change/introduction of an animal population may cause irreversible damage to a habitat.

The ability of humans to manipulate nature is a disadvantage but it is also a great asset. Therefore, each and everyone of us can make a difference by changing our perception of the world and that we are not living alone on this one and only Blue Planet called Earth.

Dictionary:
Niche – the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.

 

Disclaimer: All pictures copyright to their respective owner(s). jurongfrogfarm.com.sg does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed on this site unless stated otherwise. jurongfrogfarm.com.sg does not knowingly intend or attempt to offend or violate any copyright or intellectual property rights of any entity. Some images used on jurongfrogfarm.com.sg are taken from the web and believed to be in the public domain. The pictures are provided for educational purposes only.

If any images posted here are in violation of copyright law, please contact us (events@jurongfrogfarm.com.sg) and we will gladly remove the offending images immediately upon receipt of valid proof of copyright infringement.

Reference:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/ancient-fungus-has-worlds-frogs-in-its-deadly-grip-20130604-2nodj.html
http://www.frog-life-cycle.com/frog-myths.html
http://www.savethefrogs.com/why-frogs/

Fracts #2 – A frog can tell you’re pregnant?

Before the modern development of pregnancy test kits, what is one of the ways that can tell you’re pregnant?

You guessed it…

FROGS!

For 20 years, 1930s to 1950s, Scientists around the world had been using South African Clawed Frogs for research as well as conducting pregnancy test.

Wait a second, how do you use frog to test for a baby?

Once urine sample is collected, it is then injected into the frog’s dorsal lymph sac in the morning and by the end of the day, results can be concluded. A dose of a pregnant woman’s pee will cause a female South African Clawed Frog to lay effs within eight to 12 hours. The test also works on male frogs, which produce sperm in response to the injection.

Why does it work?

It works because a pregnant woman’s urine contains a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This is exactly how most modern pregnancy test rely on the detection of hCG using other means like antibodies after 1960s.

In 1930, a scientist based in Cape Town, South Africa, named Lancelot Hogben reported that he could use ox hormones to control ovulation in a local frog species—Xenopus laevis. His discovery was important for two reasons: First, it provided embryologists with a frog that could produce eggs year-round. Second, it provided doctors with a new animal for pregnancy testing. By 1933, doctors were using the “Hogben test” to detect hCG in urine.

The Hogben test was both rapid and reliable, and it spread quickly throughout Europe and the United States over the next two decades. Scientists were able to rear the clawed frogs in captivity, but it was easier to import them from Africa in large numbers. Either way, the reliance on live animals posed problems for the big testing centers. Even a facility with several thousand frogs could be shut down by a virulent disease outbreak. The development of new testing methods in the 1960s made the Hogben test obsolete.

Disclaimer: All pictures copyright to their respective owner(s). jurongfrogfarm.com.sg does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed on this site unless stated otherwise. jurongfrogfarm.com.sg does not knowingly intend or attempt to offend or violate any copyright or intellectual property rights of any entity. Some images used on jurongfrogfarm.com.sg are taken from the web and believed to be in the public domain. The pictures are provided for educational purposes only.

If any images posted here are in violation of copyright law, please contact us (events@jurongfrogfarm.com.sg) and we will gladly remove the offending images immediately upon receipt of valid proof of copyright infringement.

Reference:
http://d3rmmzlisdjvlb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/shutterstock_49901470.jpg
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2006/01/the_amphibian_pregnancy_test.html
http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/reptiles-amphibians/frog6.htm

Winner of a Frog Lookalike Award!

Richard Chai, from Republic polytechnic, is one of the cutest intern we have received here on the farm. Within 2 weeks into his 4 months long stint, he realized how frequently he has been commented by little children on how similar he looks compared to a frog!! Below is his testimonial.

“Firstly, when i heard it’s a farm, i thought i would have to do more manual work. However, when my internship started, it was a totally different experience from what i have expected.

The job scopes were slightly more than expected, because i thought i only have one job scope however, when i started working there, the job scopes i have to cover includes admin work, retails, tour conducting, etc. So it was kind of tough for me because handling so much different type of work at the start of the week, i could not adjust to it. However as time passes by, the job scopes i have to handle were actually kind of fun because they kept me from being bored.

It was totally different from my expectation and my experience while working over there was actually quite fun! The hospitality of the company was good and the rules were easy to understand. I had an enjoyable time working there as an intern, unlike what my friends shared about what they experienced from their internship.”

20130711-091047.jpg

Fracts #1 – The Amphibian Crisis

So let’s begin with the birth of our first Fracts: Fract #1

Do you know that the earliest Frogs were known to have lived as early as 265 million years ago (Permian era) compared to us modern humans (Homo Sapiens)  150 000 years old.

Having to live and survive through mass extinctions, frogs have earned itself as one of the most resilient and adaptable creatures on Earth. Perhaps due to the fact that Frogs are amphibians, they can live on both land water, allows them to have an alternative hideout away from natural disasters. Today, there are nearly 4000 types of frogs, including toads, and they can be found on almost every continent (in green) except Antartica where the climate is very cold all year round.  .

800px-Distribution.anura.1

However, frogs (and other amphibians) today may not be able to survive the next mass extinction that the Herpetologists call it, The Amphibian Crisis. Watch this video clip to find out more!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FBn0x6XwEQ]

Therefore, what are your views on this crisis? Are we humans responsible? What you readers reckon all of us can do our part to save their existence on this Earth?

If you would like to share your opinions on how we can save our frog friends, do feel free to reply in the comment box.

 

Disclaimer: All pictures copyright to their respective owner(s). jurongfrogfarm.com.sg does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed on this site unless stated otherwise. jurongfrogfarm.com.sg does not knowingly intend or attempt to offend or violate any copyright or intellectual property rights of any entity. Some images used on jurongfrogfarm.com.sg are taken from the web and believed to be in the public domain. The pictures are provided for educational purposes only.

If any images posted here are in violation of copyright law, please contact us (events@jurongfrogfarm.com.sg) and we will gladly remove the offending images immediately upon receipt of valid proof of copyright infringement.

The birth of Fracts

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

– Kofi Annan

Just like how our tour programmes are designed to cater to different age groups, learning neither only happen in schools nor stop when you graduate from it! Learning happens everywhere and is a life long process!

Very well then, can anyone guess what is Fracts? (Hint: A combination of what we do here in the farm and a source of learning)

The answer: Frog + Facts = Fracts (Please highlight on the blank space to reveal the answer)

Congratulations if you have guessed it right! Fun isn’t it?

Here in Jurong Frog Farm, we believe that education in a farm setting plays a crucial role in society. Education, apart from other things, makes up society. From reference to this article, one of the reasons why we behave and decide the way we do is due to ‘framing and anchoring’. In other words, every decision depends on information. For example, frogs are amphibians and without water in their natural habitat, they will die. It is this kind of information that tells us that we must conserve mother nature (by having the habit of 3 Rs) as much as we can so that we do not destroy the natural habitat of frogs and other animals.

Hence, by sharing knowledge about the wonderful history and life of frogs, as well as its threats, we can play a part to make informed decisions before behaving in a certain way, especially towards our dear friend, the Frogs.

(CROAK CROACK!) – “that’s right!” in frog language.

Basically, Fracts (a singular noun) is a weekly episode of frog facts combined with occasional humour  and thought provoking articles that will make you muse and ponder.

So, stay tuned for Fracts #1!

Note:
3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle