10/22/16

Gianni rescues a gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor)

In the winter, I found a gray tree frog hopping around our gym here in Maryland. I guess he was drawn inside by the heat? Well I took him home and had him in a fish tank with water, crickets and artificial leaves for shelter. I got a heating pad that was stuck to the back of the tank. I was wondering how cold I could keep my home and have the frog still be ok?

Wikipedia says: “The gray tree frog is capable of surviving freezing of their internal body fluids to temperatures as low as -8 °C.”

So, if the frog is indoors and there’s a heating pad on the tank, he should be all right.

Gianni finds a gray tree frog and brings him inside for the Winter.

Gianni finds a gray tree frog and brings him inside for the Winter.

In the spring it was warming up so it seemed like the frog was getting more active. He had no idea they could climb smooth glass.


Gianni writes in to ask when is the right time and how far away from where he found the frog should he release it?

Should I release him where I found him? I found him about 10 miles from home.
At what point is it safe to release him? I am in northern Maryland.

Frogs Are Green advises: So long as it’s not too cold at night, it should be fine. He waited till Saturday and released the frog on “Save the Frogs Day!”

Gianni added some foliage (shade) for the grey tree frog until he decides what to do. The grass pictured behind the tree had some standing water as well.

Gianni added some foliage (shade) for the gray tree frog until he decides what to do. The grass pictured behind the tree had some standing water as well.

He also put some crickets near him to give him a boost!

UPDATE!

Gianni went back to the spot where he released the gray tree frog and saw dozens of tiny frogs hopping all over the grass! They were small enough to sit on an eraser head comfortably!

About the *Gray Tree Frog:
The gray tree frog is a small arboreal frog native to much of the USA and southeastern Canada. They are variable in color due to the ability to camouflage themselves, from gray to green. The female does not call and has white in the throat area; the male calls and throat color changes (black/gray/brown) during the breeding season. The female is usually larger than the male.

Gray tree frogs are typically no larger than 1.5 to 2 inches. They have a lumpy texture to their skin and almost indistinguishable from the Cope’s gray tree frog.

These frogs hardly descend from tree branches except during breeding season, so it’s unusual for Gianni to have found this one in a gymnasium!

*Information source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_tree_frog

Gray tree frog by Robert A. Coggeshall Kiowa. Wikipedia.

Gray tree frog by Robert A. Coggeshall Kiowa. Wikipedia.

10/10/16

Peaceful Frogs Podcast: Yoga, Art and Nature Classes for Kids

Jamie Wilson-Murray, creator of Mindful Play Yoga, a Jersey City Heights business, and Susan Newman, founder of Frogs Are Green, a New Jersey nonprofit environmental organization, have teamed up to provide children ages 3-6 and 4-12 with Peaceful Frogs classes that include yoga, environmental study, and art education in Hudson County.

Peaceful Frogs (yoga) at Little Bee Learning Studio in Hoboken, NJ.

Peaceful Frogs (yoga) at Little Bee Learning Studio in Hoboken, NJ.

Artistic activity and physical exercise create healthy lifelong learners. Studies show how children benefit from creative activity and movement on a regular basis. Benefits from taking a Peaceful Frogs class include:

  • Body awareness and focus
  • Awareness of breath
  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Increased creative expression
  • Connection to the environment
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Flow, connection and integration
  • Tuning in to oneself, not to an electronic device
  • Deep relaxation
  • Playful learning

 

Learn more about our series by listening to our 30 minute podcast:

>> Peaceful Frogs Podcast <<

Peaceful Frogs (art) at Little Bee Learning Studio in Hoboken with children ages 3-6.

Peaceful Frogs (art) at Little Bee Learning Studio in Hoboken with children ages 3-6.

 

08/24/16

Frog Facts Everyone Should Know

There is one fact that must be featured first:

One third of all amphibians are threatened with extinction.

(It is because of this fact that we will continue to reach people through education and engagement every day. Be kind and share with others.)

 

(Rheobatrachus silus). Photo by: unknown author. Wikipedia.

Southern Gastric-brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus silus). Photo by: unknown author. Wikipedia.

Frogs have been on the Earth for over 200 million years, at least as long as the dinosaurs.

Toads are frogs, but frogs are not toads. Frogs live near ponds, swamps and marshes. Frogs can live on the ground or in trees, but toads live only on the ground. Some frogs live in deserts and only come to the surface during the rainy season and breed in shallow vernal pools and puddles that dry quickly.

Frogs usually have webbed hind feet, and some have webbed front feet. Some frogs, such as tree frogs, have pads on their toes that help frogs climb trees, or even stick to a glass window.

The largest frog is the African Goliath Frog. One of the smallest is smaller than a dime, the Paedophryne amauensis, which was recently discovered on the island of Papua New Guinea.

There are over 6,000 species of frogs worldwide. They exist on all continents except Antarctica.

Some frogs are poisonous and one drop from this type (such as a Dart frog) could kill a human. You’ll notice these frogs by their bright colors.

Frogs have big, bulging eyes, excellent night vision and can see almost 360 degrees around. They do not have the ability to turn their heads. They also use their eyes to help them swallow food by pushing their eyes down.

Frogs are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperatures change with the temperature of their surroundings. When it gets cold, some frogs dig burrows underground or in the mud at the bottom of ponds and hibernate until spring. Hibernation has a summer equivalent called “aestivation.”

Many frogs have incredible camouflage techniques: muddy brown in color or spotty bumpy skin to make them look like moss, leaves, and even trees.

Male frogs call to attract the females. Some frogs have vocal sacs, some do not—pouches of skin that fill with air like balloons. The balloon acts as an amplifier and some frog sounds can be heard from a mile away.

During mating season, the male frogs in a group will croak quite loudly to attract females. When a female finds a male croak she likes, the male will grab her and she will release eggs for him to fertilize.

Frogs will eat any living thing that will fit in its mouth. This includes bugs, spiders, worms, slugs, larvae and even small fish.

To catch prey, the frog’s sticky tongue darts out and pulls the prey into its mouth. A frog’s tongue can snap back into its mouth within 15/100ths of a second.

Some species of tadpoles will swim together in schools like fish for protection from predators and for heat regulation during cold late winter and spring weather.

Frogs can hear both in the air and below water. Instead of the external ear like we have, their external ear is called the “tympanum.” The eardrums are covered by a layer of skin and are the circular area just behind the eyes.

The bromeliad tree frog (Bromeliohyla bromeliacia) is found in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and southern Mexico. These frogs lay their eggs inside bromeliads or other water-filled spaces in the canopy of trees so the tadpoles can develop. They live their lives in the canopy.

There are approximately 300 species of frogs in Madagascar. There are no toads, salamanders or newts.

The flying frog has brilliant colors, long limbs and its fingers and toes are webbed, giving it the ability to glide or parachute to the forest floor from high in the trees (like flying!)

Frogs have eyes with an upper and lower lid and a membrane which provides extra protection while swimming. Depending on the frog, their irises can range in color and the pupils from horizontal or vertical to triangular and circular.

Some frogs that live in colder regions can survive being frozen. Their essential organs are protected by a high concentration of glucose. Once spring arrives and the temperature warms, the frog’s heart starts beating, and the frog thaws out and hops off.

Male frogs call for females and there are certain types of female frogs that reply. Each frog species has a different sound, some high and some low. Frogs also have different calls for an unreceptive female, an approaching rain storm, or in the case of danger.

One third to possibly one half of all amphibians are threatened with extinction. In response, the global conservation community has formulated the “Amphibian Conservation Action Plan.” Select species that would otherwise go extinct will be maintained in captivity until such time as they can be released back in the wild.

Frogs have weak teeth so they do not chew their food. Instead they are used to hold the food before it is swallowed. They catch flies or other moving prey by extending their coiled tongue. Some frogs do not have a tongue, and just stuff food in their mouths with their hands.

Most frogs start out as eggs and soon emerge as tadpoles. At the end of the tadpole stage, the frog undergoes an amazing metamorphosis. The frog develops lungs and their gills disappear. Their legs begin to grow as the tail recedes. The nervous system adapts for hearing and stereoscopic vision. It’s during this transformation that frogs are most vulnerable because of their lack of motion. ** However, some frogs skip the tadpole stage! Eleutherodactylis planistris, the greenhouse frog, for example, lay their eggs on land, the eggs then hatch out fully developed young frogs.

The gastric-brooding frogs, or platypus frogs (now extinct in the wild), were native to Queensland in eastern Australia. These frogs were unique because they were one of two known species that incubated the prejuvenile stages of their offspring in the stomach of the mother.

Animals that eat frogs include snakes, lizards, birds, shrews, raccoons, foxes, otters, weasels and larger frogs. Underwater frogs must watch out for fish, turtles and water birds. In addition, in many places around the world, there are humans who eat frogs.

Some species of frogs are capable of changing their skin color as their environment changes. Frogs have a huge range of skin colors and patterns, which indeed help protect them from their natural predators. Colors can also aid as a warning to predators that the frog may be toxic.

The glass frog’s general background coloration is primarily lime green but the abdominal skin of some is translucent so we can see the heart, liver and gastrointestinal tract through the skin.

Some tadpoles are herbivorous, feeding on algae and plants, some are omnivorous and some are even cannibals. Adult frogs eat their fair share of mosquitos, which keeps them away from us and our overall environment healthier.

Frogs have graced the pages of literature in such works as, Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel and as “Mr. Toad” in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. There’s also the most famous frog from TV, Kermit the Frog from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

 

07/17/16

City of Water Day in Hoboken

Yesterday was the City of Water Day all around New York and Hoboken, New Jersey. Frogs Are Green was invited to participate so we could share our educational materials and inspire children to draw frogs. (Frogs love water, you know.)

As you can see from this little gallery, we had children visit our tent all day and we watched people go out in kayaks, enjoying the water on such a hot day.

Across from us in the other tents, we saw face-painting and other creative activities for kids One was the Celebrate Life Studio who also encouraged children and adults to dance. Next to us the Hudson County Improvement Authority gave away coloring books along with crayons made from soybeans and other recycled items, such as reusable bags.

We want to thank the Waterfront Alliance for a well-organized event full of bonuses, like giving us free lunch, plenty of water and thanks, Ben & Jerry’s, for the free ice cream too!

Child drawing frogs under the Frogs Are Green tent at The City of Water event in Hoboken.

Child drawing frogs under the Frogs Are Green tent at The City of Water event in Hoboken.

City of Water event draws parents and children and Frogs Are Green inspires drawing.

The City of Water event in Hoboken draws parents and children and Frogs Are Green inspires drawing.

Kayaks out in Hoboken, NJ all day long!

Kayaks out in Hoboken, NJ all day long!

Kids love to draw and we encourage them to care about frogs too!
Children busy drawing with crayons, colored pencils and markers.

Children busy drawing with crayons, colored pencils and markers.

Celebrate Life Studio had children's activities including dance!

Celebrate Life Studio had children's activities including dance!

Frogs Are Green loves it when children are into drawing frogs!

Frogs Are Green loves it when children are into drawing frogs!

Frogs, Trees and scenic drawings at the City of Water event in Hoboken, NJ.

Frogs, Trees and scenic drawings at the City of Water event in Hoboken, NJ.

Frogs Are Green's table with books, Tshirts, promotional materials and space for children to draw.

Frogs Are Green's table with books, Tshirts, promotional materials and space for children to draw. (Thanks, Mark for your support!)

Frogs Are Green Tshirts and promotional materials for our forthcoming poetry book and coloring books.

Frogs Are Green Tshirts and promotional materials for our forthcoming poetry book and coloring books.

Hoboken's Maxwell Pier for The City of Water event hosted by the Waterfront Alliance.

Hoboken's Maxwell Pier for The City of Water event hosted by the Waterfront Alliance. (Thank you!)

New York Times article about The City of Water event and Frogs Are Green is mentioned!

New York Times article about The City of Water event and Frogs Are Green is mentioned! Woot!

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06/4/15

DAYS OF MADAGASCAR 2015

GIORNATE DEL MADAGASCAR 2015 / DAYS OF MADAGASCAR 2015
The island of Marco Polo

June 12 and 13, 2015
Venice, Museum of Natural History

Isolated from Africa to many tens of millions of years, Madagascar has developed its own peculiar fauna and flora, dramatically different from that of other land masses, near and far.

Similarly colonization by man, which took place on a massive scale only for two thousand years, has seen the mix of elements Africans, Asians, Arabs and Europeans who have forged a culture of “metissage” composed of no less than 18 ethnic groups each with its particular history and traditions, have in common the basic language of Indonesian origin and the cult of the dead, called “famadihana”.

Unfortunately Madagascar is also a land of great contrasts, with widespread problems of social and economic. The days that pay special attention to aspects concerning the natural wealth and cultural diversity of this island, home to the intervention of researchers that deal with biodiversity and personnel working in health, showing how much Italy is engaged in this country.

In collaboration with the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences (Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali) of Turin and the Association “Malagasy Miray.”

Amphibian courtesy of Franco Andreone

Video below: Interview of Franco Andreone (herpetologist) at Andriamanero, Isalo National Park.

This video is in Italian: #madagascarexpedition2013: Betampona Rainforest
 


 

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION OF THE INITIATIVE (.ppt 12.3 MB) >>>

PROGRAM

Friday, June 12, 2015 20.30 – Cinema Giorgione

Screening of the film in English “Island of lemurs in Madagascar” by David Douglas and Drew Fellman, with narrated by Morgan Freeman and with Patricia Wright

Introduction and presentation of: Franco Andreone (Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin) Giuseppe Donati (Oxford Brookes University)

Entrance to the Cinema Giorgione free until all available seats

Saturday, June 13, 2015 – Natural History Museum

10.30 Welcome and opening of the day
Gabriella Belli (Director Civic Museums Foundation of Venice)
Paola Casagrande (Director of the Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin) Randrianantoandro Solofo Theophile (Minister Counsellor Embassy of Madagascar)

Franco Andreone (Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin)
Madagascar: stories from a biodiverse land biodiverse

Giuseppe Donati (Oxford Brookes University)
Survive the next day: the lesson of lemurs

15:00

Riccardo Bononi (IRFOSS Padua)
Life, death and disease in the ancestor worship

Italian volunteers in Madagascar
Friends Amici di Jangany
The Italian volunteer in MadagascarVolontari Italiani in Madagascar

Olga del Madagascar
Culture, nature and music: songs taken from ‘album “Ma nature”

Tasting The with Malagasy vanilla

Hours 10:00 to 18:00 – Gallery of Cetaceans

Photo exhibition “Madagasikara” by Franco Andreone: throughout the day and until August 2, 2015 will be exhibited suggestive images dedicated to the nature, history and traditions of Madagascar.

Information points: voluntary associations will be on hand to talk about their experience in Madagascar

WORKSHOPS:
appointment until all available seats

Hours 10:30 to 12:00 and 15:30 to 17:00
Children aged 7 to 11 years

“The nature of the island”, edited by Coop. Silty
“Sounds and rhythms of Madagascar”, edited by Olga del Madagascar:

10:15, 11:30, 15:00, 16:15
For children 4 to 6 years accompanied by their parents

“The chameleon says narrates, animal stories and legends of Madagascar” by Barchetta Blu

INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS:

The day is free entry until all the places available, except for laboratories that require an admission ticket to the museum (free for residents and people born in Venice, upon presentation of a photo ID).

To book workshops call 041 2750206

The photo exhibition will be open for free only on the occasion of this day and until August 2, 2015 is required to be in possession of a ticket to the museum.

 

Information shared by:

Franco Andreone
Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali
Via G. Giolitti, 36
I-10123 TORINO – ITALY
website www.francoandreone.it
Facebook www.facebook.com/franco.andreone
Twitter @francoandreone
Youtube Betampona
Youtube Isalo

04/15/15

Algae: for a cleaner and greener tomorrow

With the growing concern that humans will dry the earth of its limited fossil fuels, scientists are searching for an alternate energy source. One of the sources that has flown under the radar is algae. It can be used as jet fuel, biodiesel, and even biocrude. With minimal nutrient inputs, it can be grown in salt and waste water, thus leaving clean water for humans to drink. It is also carbon neutral, which means it absorbs as much carbon dioxide as it produces. Although harvesting algae on a commercial scale is currently inefficient, scientists are hopeful that algae will one day account for most of the world’s oil. Considering algae’s speedy growth and large presence throughout the world (making up 70% of the world’s biomass), its potential is enormous. Once its price is lessened from a current $8 a gallon to a more reasonable cost, you can expect to be filling up your car with algal biofuels instead of fossil fuels!

This project was fun for me because it taught me about something that is important on a larger scale. I hope to someday do research on this topic and improve on the technology used to turn algae into fuel. I want to spread awareness of algal biofuels to gain support for this amazing opportunity we have to change the world.

This infographic was created by students from Smithtown HS East in St. James, NY, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy-BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge. The BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge encourages young people to improve their foundational understanding of bioenergy, which is a broad and complex topic. The ideas expressed in these infographics reflect where students are in the learning process and do not necessarily reflect the state of knowledge of the U.S. Department of Energy or other experts in the bioenergy industry.

Learn about the amazing uses for algae as a biofuel! It’s the future of our world, and will create a cleaner and greener tomorrow! Just click on the link below to learn more.

Algae to biofuel - BIOENERGIZEME INFOGRAPHIC CHALLENGE

Guest blog by Jillian Pesce with Erika Nemeth, Olivia Faulhaber and Ruisi Zhong. We are a part of the BioenergizeME Competition for the U.S. Department of Energy.