Year of the frog
Archived posts from this Category
Archived posts from this Category
Posted by Jim Bridges on Mar 01, 2008
As part of the Year of the Frog, the Vancouver Aquarium has produced “Bullfrog Ballet”, a two-minute, high-speed video showing bullfrogs feeding on insects in slow motion, giving them a grace you might not normally associate with large (and seemingly ungainly) bullfrogs.
From the Vancouver Aquarium’s description:
Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) are native to eastern North America, from Canada as far south as Florida, but they’re invading British Columbia, where the Vancouver Aquarium is located. They were introduced here in the early 1900s by people wanting to farm them for their legs.
As you can see, they’ll eat just about anything that will fit into their mouth. They can easily tip the delicate balance of nature in places where they are not naturally found.
Ironically this widely introduced species is disappearing in Ontario, Canada — part of its natural range.
The video is part of a wider exhibit running at the aquarium, “Frogs Forever?”, to raise awareness of the dangers facing the world’s frog populations and what we can do to help.
Posted by Jim Bridges on Feb 29, 2008
As we mentioned in the last entry, 2008 has been declared as the Year of the Frog. And while the year officially kicked off on January 1, with this being a leap year, many zoos and aquariums around the world are using today, February 29, as the day to really start their educational and awareness activities to promote amphibian conservation.
At Digital Frog International, we’ve been supporters of frogs since we started over a decade ago. Our first educational software program was our virtual frog dissection, anatomy and ecology program, The Digital Frog. Since its release, the program has changed and evolved, but the core has always remained the same: to provide a viable alternative to real dissections and to emphasize ecology‚Äîthe study of living frogs‚Äìalongside their dissected counterparts. Even our Digital Field Trip series of programs highlight frogs and toads, among other organisms, to show their place in ecosystems from wetlands to rainforests, and even deserts.
Experts believe that after more than 360 million years on the planet, between one-third and half of the world’s 6000 species of amphibian could become extinct within our lifetimes. Over the years, with The Digital Frog being used in thousands of schools across North America, we have helped save literally tens of thousands of frogs (not to mention thousands of dollars to schools who save on purchasing frogs for dissection).
Be among the first 29 to buy and save 29%
With this being the Year of the Frog, we want to help make it even easier and more affordable to bring the benefits of The Digital Frog 2.5 to your classroom or home. Starting today, February 29, 2008, we’re giving a 29% discount to the first 29 orders for The Digital Frog 2.5. That’s a savings of $24.65 off a home version CD, or more than $260 off the price of a building site license.
Act fast, though. We can’t promise how long this offer will last. (You can order directly from us here.)
Posted by Tracie Treahy on Feb 25, 2008
I have always had an interest in the natural world and its inhabitants, but have certainly grown fonder of frogs since coming to work at Digital Frog International.
This year, 2008 has been dedicated as the Year of The Frog not because of the Chinese Zodiac, but because of the dire situation for frogs and amphibians around the world.
After surviving for over 360 million years, frogs and other amphibians are dying the world over. We could lose as much as 1/3 to 1/2 of the known 6,000 species in our lifetime. Loss of habitat is a big threat, but Chytrid Fungi is quickly becoming the greatest threat to frogs and amphibians. A new strain of the fungi was discovered in 1999, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and it is believed this is responsible for the widespread demise or many amphibian species.
I have four children and that is not the legacy I want to leave them. They deserve a healthy world with diverse species in it.
We need to take responsibility for the destruction of habitat; frogs are like the canaries in the coal mine , they are indicators of environmental health. The destruction of this species will be a forerunner for many more to follow.
We can help through agencies like Amphibian Ark who are trying to improve public awareness of the frog‚Äôs and amphibian‚Äôs dire situation. The global conservation plan is to keep species that will go extinct in captivity until the time comes that they can be secured again in the wild.
I do feel that we are doing something at Digital Frog by offering an alternative to real frog dissection, by doing virtual dissection we are saving frogs.
I am spreading the word among my friends and family about the frog‚Äôs troubles and hope you can do the same. We all know how fast things can spread when I tell two friends, they tell two friends etc.
Locally we can help to clean up and maintain healthy ponds and wetlands for our North American frogs.
I have taught my children from a young age that looking after the whole environment, not just our small part is an important responsibility, and one that we all need to take seriously. We have enjoyed some great family times over the years helping with clean-ups in our community. I am sure your community does something similar and if not maybe that is something you and your family would like to take on in this all important Year of the Frog