Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Canyon Tree Frog Behavior:

This is a canyon tree frog exactly as we found it on a warm, nearly vertical canyon wall.

The canyon tree frog exactly matches it's surroundings because it is covered in the same sand that is also covering the rock. Is the frog intelligent enough to camouflage itself by rolling around in the sand, or does the frog's natural behavior just provide this perfect sand camouflage without the frog even realizing it?

The canyon tree frog looked much cooler after my neice poured some creek water on it and revealed it's spotted pattern.

We found a lot of red spotted toads in the same area. There were also leopard frogs in the same area, but to get photos of more than just their eyes and noses with horrible reflections, I would have had to damage some habitat.

Toads do not ever have to submerge in water to keep their skin healthy. They have super absorbant skin on their rear-ends that can absorb any little bit of moisture that they sit on.

A couple tiny toads that recently transitioned from water to land:

This is a chorus frog. These are the frogs that are often heard and seldom seen. They are classified as tree frogs, but are usually found at the edge of bodies of water

I have found that chorus frogs are very calm and will eat moving insects right out of your hand. This one is a female:

A light rain brought out hundreds (maybe thousands) of tiger salamanders on this night. The road was turning gray in one area with salamander guts because so many were getting smashed. My son and a friend jumped out to save some, but it was a futile effort because more were coming onto the road than could be removed. Stopping on the road nearly got us hit and also attracted a sheriff's deputy, who questioned us for a while. I explained about the salamanders and the gray salamander guts all over his tires and what that nasty popping noise was as he was unknowingly running over so many salamanders. He took my license, ran our plates, and then told us to get out of the road. I took a few shots before he made us leave:

Another shot of the same group of live ones:

This one was really cool looking:

The large one in this shot is albino:

Seeing hundreds of tiger salamanders smashed in the road like that was horrible.