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Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

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photo by the USFW

vulnerable
Common Name: Leatherback Sea Turtle
Scientific Name:  Dermochelys coriacea
Family: Dermochelyidae

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest living species of turtle in the world, weighing up to 1,500 pounds and over 7 feet long. It is also the only extant species in the family Dermochelyidae. The turtle is named after its unusual leathery shell.

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is in trouble of becoming extinct. Some of the threats to them are plastic and chemical pollution, becoming bycatch of fisherman, over-harvesting of their eggs, and climate change. We need to tackle these issues to secure a future for the turtle.

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New Species, Uncategorized

New Siren Species: the Reticulated Siren

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photo by Pierson Hill

A new species of siren was discovered in southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle. There were rumors about an undiscovered large, spotted salamander that lived in the area. A few samples of the species was recovered back in the 1970s but people thought they were just bizarre Greater Sirens (Siren lacertina). The species was re-discovered by former Herper of the Week, David Steen Ph.D., when he was trapping turtles on a military base in Florida. He noticed that it was different from other sirens he has seen. Steen and other researchers (Sean P Graham, Richard Kline, Crystal Kelehear) performed genetic tests and found it to be its own species. They named it the Reticulated Siren because of its color pattern.

One of the interesting facts about the new Siren is its size. Its a large salamander, with average size of the specimens collected being around a foot long but some were two feet long. It is one of the largest animals discovered in North America in over a hundred years. You are probably wondering how a two foot long salamander hasn’t been discovered until now. Sirens are a fully aquatic species and live in murky waters, making them hard to see. With the discovery of the Reticulated Siren, the Siren Family, Sirenidae, there are now 5 different species but who knows? There could be even more hiding.

You can read the full article here – https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207460

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Trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum

I visited the Milwaukee Public Museum to see the new exhibit on frogs. The exhibit was pretty good, except they didn’t include the conservation status of the frogs that they showed. I didn’t take pics of all the species of frogs so go check it out if you are in the area.

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The first frog was the Smoky Jungle Frog. It’s a beautiful frog from South America.

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Next was one of the many species of Monkey Tree Frogs (Phyllomedusa bicolor). They too are found in South America.

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Here’s a Tomato Frog that was hiding from me. I forgot to write down what exact species it is but all 4 members of the Tomato Frog genus Dyscophus are found in Madagascar.

 

There was two big Ornate Horned Frogs They are good boys.

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There was a group of Borneo Eared Frogs (Polypedates otilophus). Never seen these frogs before but they were pretty cool even though they were sleeping.

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Another new species that I didn’t know about is the Smooth-sided Toad (Rhaebo guttatus). These guys are actually really big, they can reach over 6 inches long.

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These Chinese Gliding Frogs (Rhacophorus dennysi) were pretty cool to see even though they were asleep. Sadly, none of them were gliding.

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The Asian Tree Frog (Pedostibes hosii) is native to southeastern Asia. It’s pretty awesome.

 

Here are some of the Poison Dart Frogs they had. I am stupid and forgot to write down all the species they had.

 

Last, we have the Amazon Milk Frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix). These guys are cute and they can grow a lot bigger than I thought they could.

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Manatee Awareness Month

 

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West Indian Manatee by the US Dept of Interior

November is Manatee Awareness Month! Did you know there are three different, living species of manatees or sea cows? The three species are the West Indian / American Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), and the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis). All three of species are listed by the IUCN as vulnerable which sucks. In the US, the major threat to our manatees is humans, specially watercraft collisions. Manatees are hard to see in the water and they are slow swimmers which lead to these collisions. We need to protect these creatures for future generations.

Frog of the Week, Uncategorized

Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons)

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photo by John P Clare

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Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
Family: Scaphiopodidae
Locations: Canada, Mexico, United States
US Locations: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming
Size: around 2.5 inches

The Plains Spadefoot Toad is a secretive toad. It spends most of its time underground only to come up to breed or to feed. They are also nocturnal so its even less likely that you will see them. The Plains Spadefoot Toad is a great burrower because of keratonized sheaths called spades on its rear feet. These help them dig easier. To escape freezing during winter, they even dig below the frost line to survive.

Frog of the Week, Uncategorized

Santa Cecilia Cochran Frog (Teratohyla midas)

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photo by Brakis Art Gallery

leastconcern
Common Name: Santa Cecilia Cochran Frog
Scientific Name:  Teratohyla midas
Family: Centrolenidae
Location: Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, and Peru
Size: 1 inch

The Santa Cecilia Cochran Frog’s scientific name Teratohyla midas refers to King Midas, whose touch turns everything to gold. The frog has golden dots on its body and it is found along the Aguarico River, a river that has gold in it.

The Santa Cecilia Cochran Frog is similar to most glass frogs (besides being transparent) in that they lay their eggs on leaves overhanging rivers. The eggs eventually hatch and the tadpoles fall into the rivers.

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About me

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Who is the man behind the blog? What secrets does he posses besides being handsome and hilarious? Well, I’m here to answer some questions.

My name is Adam and I run the blog. I’m 25 years old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have an Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Wisconsin Steven’s Point.

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Now, what got me into liking frogs is a popular question people ask me. Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked animals. I used to print of hundreds of pictures of animals, which was a big waste of ink and paper. When I was younger, I’d catch frogs and bring them home and keep them in boxes. My uncle also even gave me my first pet frog when I was like 10. It was a Dwarf African Clawed Frog. When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I took general classes my first semester and during the zoology section of intro to biology, I got hooked. I also received the fire bellied toads that I have from my cousins and i fell in love.

I don’t know what else to say about me.

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Photography Adventure 7/7/17

I went out on an adventure to take some quality photos of nature and wildlife last Friday. Here are those pictures.

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Here is an adorable bunny.

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One of the many butterflies I saw but most of them are bad and wouldn’t sit still for me.

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Some flowers that I thought looked cool.

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Green frog, not a great pic but this website is named Gone Froggin.

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Some damselfly. I like that its blue. Hit me up if you know species.

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Here is a morning dove that just wants to play volleyball but no one will play with him.

Now we are moving from the creek area down to Lake Michigan.

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The progression of a Canadian Goose cleaning its back.

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His friend was tired and was napping.

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A BABY MALLARD DUCK

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MORE BABIES

Some big fish I saw. The one of the right is definitely a carp but I’m not sure on the one on the left.

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Last but not least, I found this Great Blue Heron. The wing of the bird was badly damaged so I called the local wildlife rehab place but they didn’t answer the phone and on their recorded message, they said they didn’t take herons. There’s no other rehabers in my area so I called the DNR to ask wtf to do. I sat on hold for 45 minutes until they got to my call. They transferred me to a state biologist so we talked. He wasn’t working today so he didn’t want to come out and look at it so he said I could leave it or I could catch it and take it to a place a hour away. I decided to catch it. If you notice from the pic, it is almost in Lake Michigan.  I was close to my work so I dropped off my camera, cellphone, and wallet so if I fell in, I wouldn’t ruin them. I also grabbed a small wash cloth to put over its eyes.  I walked back and caught the heron and brought it back over to my work. I got someone to give me my cellphone so I could call for a ride back to my house and to bring a  bigger towel since I walked down here and the one I had was small. Before I could make the call, the heron knocked down the cloth over its eyes and started freaking out on me so I lost my grip and it got away from me.

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So now its free on the sidewalk close to the main street of town. I try to catch it but then a cop pulls up. I have to explain the story to the cop but he won’t let me catch it again. He starts calling people to try to take it but no one will besides the place that’s a hour away. He doesn’t want to take it there so he comes up with a plan to move the heron down to the creek area with a broom. He gets the heron to move but it winds up in a small planted tree and bush area next to some condos. He decides this is good enough and he leaves. So yeah I couldn’t take him anywhere.