01/21/18

Winners of the 2017 Amphibian and Reptile Photo Contest

Frogs Are Green wants to thank all the amazing wildlife photographers from around the world who submitted such a wide variety of amphibians and reptiles. We had frogs (of course), turtles and snakes, but we also received alligators, lizards and more! Between our photo contest and kids art contest we received entries from more than 30 countries this year! Thank our to our judges, John Dunstan, Gaye Dunstan, Sam Pesin, Beverly D’Andrea, Jerome China, and Devin Edmonds! We know how hard it is to choose!

– Susan Newman, founder,  Frogs Are Green Inc. – A New Jersey nonprofit organization.

 

Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Frogs Are Green Photo Contest

(Theme: Amphibians and Reptiles)

1st Place: Ronald Zimmerman – Emerald Glassfrog (Espadarana prosoblepon), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Emerald Glassfrog (Espadarana prosoblepon), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Emerald Glassfrog (Espadarana prosoblepon), Ecuador

2nd Place: Deep-Rajwar – King Portrait (Snake)

Deep-Rajwar - King Portrait

Deep-Rajwar – King Portrait

3rd Place: ©Ajay Singh Rajawat (Snake and Frog)

…And this time Reptile wins the game of death. Checkered Keelback snake swallowing Indian Bullfrog. Shot at Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh), India.

Ajay Singh Rajawat - Checkered Keelback snake swallowing Indian Bullfrog, India

Ajay Singh Rajawat – Checkered Keelback snake swallowing Indian Bullfrog, India.

Honorable Mention: Amanda Gilbert, Loveland, Ohio, (Turtle)

Amanda Gilbert, Loveland, Ohio, turtle

Amanda Gilbert, Loveland, Ohio, turtle

 

Winners of the “Best Amphibian Photo 2017”

1st Place: Sebastian Hernandez, Rhinella margaritifera, Ecuador

Sebastian-Hernandez-Rhinella margaritifera, Ecuador

Sebastian Hernandez, Rhinella margaritifera, Ecuador

2nd Place: Ronald Zimmerman, Gliding Treefrog (Agalychnis spurrelli), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Gliding Treefrog (Agalychnis spurrelli), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Gliding Treefrog (Agalychnis spurrelli), Ecuador

3rd Place: Krukarg-Tree frog on my coneflowers in my front yard near Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Krukarg-Tree frog on my coneflowers in my front yard near Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Krukarg-Tree frog on my coneflowers in my front yard near Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Honorable Mention: Linda Bailey – Birmingham, MI – Oophaga Pumilio Punta Laurent

Linda Bailey - Birmingham, MI - Oophaga Pumilio Punta Laurent

Linda Bailey – Birmingham, MI – Oophaga Pumilio Punta Laurent

 

Winners of the “Best Reptile Photo 2017”

1st Place: Miriam Christine, striking eyes,  Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

Miriam Christine, striking eyes,  Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

Miriam Christine, striking eyes, Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

2nd Place: Deep Rajwar – Red-tailed bamboo pit viper

Deep Rajwar - Red-tailed bamboo pit viper

Deep Rajwar – Red-tailed bamboo pit viper

3rd Place: Christian Spencer, Python mask

Christian Spencer, Python mask

Christian Spencer, Python mask

10/20/15

Frog color patterns and the lack of color on the ventral surface

Frogs are a component of an exclusive cluster of the animal realm that have a part in the subtle equilibrium of both the ecosystem and the food chain. Frogs can be seen more or less any place apart from Antarctica. The majority of frogs are found in tropical areas and more frogs are found in the hotter countries. There are approximately 4,740 species of frogs on the planet. They are in fact remarkable creatures that come in a huge range of sizes as well as colors.

Frogs generally eat insects such as flies, as well as, worms and small fish. In some cultures, frogs are believed to bring good luck. Noticeably, some frogs, such as the poison dart frog, have an adequate amount of toxin in their miniscule bodies to take the life of a human being. Some species of frogs are capable of changing their skin color, and a few of them have a similar skin color as their environment.

By liz west (leopard frog2) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By liz west (leopard frog2) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Without a doubt, frogs have several natural predators. Generally frogs are responsive to predators, which is why frogs put down a lot of eggs at a time. A few of the main predators of frogs are comprised of reptiles, like snakes and lizards. Some fish will eat frogs, and birds will also eat frogs. Frogs are always in danger of predators and unfortunately, humans also eat frogs. Luckily, frogs have developed many techniques for defending themselves from these predators.

The color patterns of frogs and their lack of color on the ventral surface, allow frogs to escape from predators. Usually, the underside of the frog is a lighter color than the top side for the reason that if the frog is hanging on top of the water and a predator is searching for a frog, the suns glare makes the frog difficult to spot. There are shady marks on the bottom and as a result it doesn’t expose the silhouette of the frog. Some of the frog’s upper side is darker since when swimming in the underneath of a dark pond, so it coordinates with the bottom.

By fa:User:Juybari (fa:File:Frog in Water.jpg) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

By fa:User:Juybari (fa:File:Frog in Water.jpg) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Frogs have a huge range of skin colors and patterns, which indeed help them from their natural predators. Colors can aid as a warning to predators that the frog may be toxic. Some frogs have the ability to change the color of their skin to adjust their heat soaking up rate, which assist them in managing their temperature. Just like other creatures, a frog’s skin and its color can be a sign of poison. Eating a blue frog can be deadly. So, the blue colored frogs offer a sign that they are not edible.

By Michael Gäbler (own work (eigenes Werk)) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Michael Gäbler (own work (eigenes Werk)) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Some studies have shown that the techniques for getting the better of a predator rely on the species of frog, but several of these resistances contain the utilization of color. It is found that some of the frogs have developed patterns on their backs that bamboozle or confuse aerial predators. The patterns cover up the shape of the frog; as a result, the predator doesn’t identify it as something safe to eat.

The largest parts of frogs are not dangerous, but there are some frogs that take advantage of poison as a self-protection tactic. Research reveals that some frogs have deadly poisons that could make a human harshly sick, or even kill someone. The toxic frogs such as the poison dart frog generally have brightly colored skin that stands as a caution. The toxic frogs have in fact very few predators. Frogs such as the barred leaf frog have light patterns on their legs and body. So, when the frog runs, these patterns will make the predator puzzled.

The animal kingdom makes use of a lot of tactics in order to save themselves from predators. Frogs are amazing and they use a lot of techniques to fool predators. Basically the upper surfaces of frogs are dark and go with their environment so that they are hidden from predators viewing them from above. The ventral surfaces of most of the frogs are normally a light color so that it will be disguised against the lighter sky while observed from underneath.

On land, a frog’s enemies will attack them from above and therefore, the color on its upper side serves as concealment. In water, the frog is susceptible to assault from below. For the most part, frog’s ventral surface is seldom uncovered to the sight of predators, so these surfaces don’t require camouflage. Frogs have a variety of patterns and colors that protects them from natural predators and harsh environments.

——–

Guest blog by Ligia Blake, who is a freelance blog writer and works for essayscouncil.com, a custom essay writing service with a passion of helping out students.

08/28/14

Eco-Interview: John Hamilton, Children’s Book Illustrator and Conservationist

John Hamilton, children's book illustrator with chameleon

When did this all begin? Please tell us a bit about your work.

I am an artist and illustrator based in Manchester UK. My artwork has always been narrative /story-based, using oil on canvas, printmaking, and large-scale collage. My work includes characters acting out various scenarios and role play, as if from a film or stage play. I often include animals or people dressed as animals. I recently had a children’s picture book published called “The Boy Who Really Really Really loves Lizards” aimed at 3-7 year olds.

Go quietly so as not to wake the butterflies' oil on canvas, 2013

What is your educational background and what led to this creative path?

My background is in Fine Art. I did my degree back in 1990 and have been a practicing artist since then. A couple of years ago I did a Masters degree in Children’s Book Illustration. For the final project I wrote the story about my son Oliver who was obsessed by visits to the Manchester Museum, From the age of two he has loved the museum and would spend hours there.

inside the vivarium - illustration from the book

What are some challenges you have faced and how did you deal with them?

When I was doing research at the museum for the book, I became friendly with Andrew Gray, the curator of the vivarium. He specializes in the conservation of frogs and has done a lot of work to project many endangered species from Costa Rica and other places. His passion and commitment to the Museum is amazing. He was also responsible for getting the museum to publish my book which is a playful look at my boys obsession with the museum and the lizards, frogs and snakes. I think we saw it as a way to engage the younger visitors and to perhaps encourage them to become aware of the conservation involved. The museum features heavily in the book.

Today Oliver is going to the museum - illustration from the book

What can people do to help this cause?

The museum allows the public to sponsor the frogs and to contribute to the cost of research and support for the museum. Oliver recently sponsored a tiger monkey frog and got to meet it and hold it at the museum! You can also buy my book too!

Oliver with the Tiger Monkey Frog at the Manchester museum

How do you reach your targeted audience?
Is it through your website, advertising or social media or another route? Which is most effective and why?

I am trying to promote my book at the moment and I have been doing that through Facebook and Twitter as they both allow you to reach a large volume of people very quickly. It is also a good way of keeping in touch with people and informing them of events and new work. There is also a website for the book where I post features, reviews and workshop projects done with schools and colleges.

school workshop with John Hamilton

How do you keep the audience engaged over time?

Updates on Facebook and Twitter and by creating new links with organizations and groups with similar interests.

Tell us about your events around the world and some of the campaigns you have started.

The book is only available in the UK so that has been my main target but I would love it to go further afield! I have had emails from people in South Africa, Australia, France and the USA who have received the book, many as presents from the UK – so that is exciting!

children looking at tadpoles in manchester museum

What is in the works for the future? What haven’t you yet tackled, but will want to do soon?

I am working on another picture book possibly about butterflies or snails! I am hoping the museum may show an interest in publishing this one too. I want to try and make this one a bit more factual and to include facts and information to allow children to continue their interest in the subject.

Would you like to add a bit more?

No. Just a thank you for the opportunity to talk about the book and hopefully reach a few more people and encourage some more young people to really, really, really love lizards and frogs!

Boy who really really really loves lizards

To find John Hamilton online:

Website: http://www.johnhamiltonillustration.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tbwrrrll
Twitter: @JohnHamilton17

For information on the Manchester Museum and their work with frogs and about sponsoring the frogs visit:
http://frogblogmanchester.com

08/10/14

Gecko In Turks & Caicos

The island of Providenciales in Turks & Caicos is one of my favorite vacation spots and I have been there many times. The sand is pinkish white and as soft as talcum powder. The sea is the perfect color of turquoise and crystal clear. When you enter the water all you see are little fish and if lucky, while swimming, the local dolphin that comes over to greet visitors.

Turks & Caicos beach plants and sea beyond. Photo by Susan Newman

Turks & Caicos beach plants and sea beyond. Photo by Susan Newman

On one of my trips as I was unpacking my things, I noticed a little gecko in my room and just left him to wander around. At the time, I didn’t know that much about them, but he/she was so cute, I didn’t bother it. Over the next few days, my friends were complaining about the mosquitoes and kept asking me, how come you aren’t bitten up like we are? I didn’t really know.

This went on for days until I told them about the little gecko in my room, who like to come inside where the temperature is to their liking and are safe from predators. OH! They said, it’s eating the mosquitoes in your room, that’s why you aren’t having the problem we are.

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) by  Thomas Brown

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) by Thomas Brown

Well, it is many years later and I know more about geckos, salamanders and frogs. I wanted to share this little story because most people wonder how the decline of frogs and amphibians directly effects them. As you can see, just one gecko in my room on vacation, made all the difference for me having a more comfortable trip than my friends. Just imagine how insects will bother us if there are no frogs or geckos around to eat them?