During the British winter, many animals seem to disappear altogether. Our frogs are a perfect example. These pond dwelling creatures spend most of their time in our waterways, so how do they cope with plummeting temperatures and freezing waters?
Here in Britain we have two species of frog – the common frog and the pool frog. They are members of a vast and ancient family called the amphibians. Amphibians are famous for their ability to live in both water and on land. Their skin needs to be kept damp at all time, otherwise they would dry up. But frost and ice could cause equally serious damage as heat, so our frogs choose to hide from the advancing cold.
All amphibians in the UK must hibernate to survive the winter. Frogs do this by leaving the water and finding an underground tunnel, leaf litter or a large log pile. Here they will hide away from predators and enter hibernation, where body functions slow down to a minimum and they allow their bodies to freeze. Most creatures would not be able to survive this, making frogs one of the ultimate survivors.
Some frogs may also travel to the bottom of their pond and bury themselves in the mud. As the top layer of water freezes over, the bottom of the pond remains slightly warmer, enough to see the frog through to spring.
Frogs across the world enter hibernation during winter and this Canadian frog is no different…
Once the weather starts to heat up, the frogs will emerge from their sleep and travel back to the same pond they came from. Due to the uncertainty of our weather, this can happen anywhere between January and April. The frogs are easiest to spot at this time of year as their hopping movement can be hard to miss.
By leaving a corner of your garden full of logs and leaves during the winter, you can therefore make yourself your very own ‘Frog Hotel’ and it won’t cost you a penny!
Video by OULearn, youtube.
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Take care, and stay on the wild side.