Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tis the season for love (4/25/09)

Ahhh spring. When a young man's fancy turns to love. Throughout the pond, the Future Scientists heard the sweet trilling serenade of bachelor toads. Upon further examination, it seemed the toads' instincts were getting the best of them...
We knew the situation had definitely gotten out of hand when we saw a ribbon snake dragging away a toad (pictured below - the toad facing to the left is in the snake's grip). Immediately after being captured, several other toads hopped on the captive toad attempting to get it on, while the poor snake was attempting to drag away its already bulky meal. You can see one toad below (facing right), which has hopped on top of the captive toad...not to mention the snake's head!
Vocabulary word of the day: Amplexus: the clasping posture frogs and toads use in attempt to fertilize eggs.

During this week, toads could be heard all throughout the area. Amazingly, the following week the ponds were silent, and in many cases, the only traces of toads were the long strings of eggs left over in the water.


Jamie Sutton said...

Wow...where did this cool happening take place?

Jeff said...

Hi Jamie - this cool happening took place at the southern end of Girdled Road Reservation in Lake County. If you visit a park with a creek or pond at the end of April, early May, you might also hear the constant trilling of the toads and maybe even see some mindless mating behavior like we did!