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Old 12-15-2013, 12:57 AM   #41
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Ha ha ha.... speaking of the devil.... here I am!!! I had to catch up at work after taking off 3 days in a row and then I totally forgot my husband was scheduled for another procedure on Friday so off we flew on Thursday and we just got back this evening!!!
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"Would it be safe to assume that if the pond in which they lay is sealed under ice they must absorb oxygen from the water verses coming up for a gulp of air" Yes... that's why it's really important in small bodies of water... like the vast majority of man-made ponds.... to either drain them and relocate any frogs that were attracted to the artificial environment to a larger natural pond or at the very least.... keep a hole open in the ice throughout ALL of winter that allows for air exchange while providing appropriate substrate so they won't float up and become 1 with any ice. And.... don't forget to "muck" out the bottoms at the end of the gardening season otherwise the decomposition process will basically suck all the oxygen out of the water that a brumating frog has to have to survive.
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"Rivers and ponds in the wild freeze over solid....The frogs MUST be going up to gulp trapped air under those every now and then don't they?" No. They'll survive off the oxygen in the water. If you're talking a small natural pond that freezes over solid like the depression left in the ground from the root ball of a toppled tree.... odds are any frog brumating in it would suffer the same fate it would in an artificial pond.... it'd die.... not enough oxygen.... not enough depth.... not enough water volume.... not enough of the right material at the bottom for them to "wedge" themselves into. Frogs that brumate go into a state of suspended animation for lack of a better term.... their metabolisms slow down to the extent that if you pulled 1 out of the water....you'd be convinced it was dead. While they're in that "dead to the world" state.... they need to stay at the bottom where the water never drops below 32. Instinct "tells" them to "sandwich" themselves between "loose" material that will keep them from floating up to the surface while they're in their deep sleep. If they become dislodged.... they float up and end up dead frogcickles. This is why I sunk weighted drift wood into the bottom of my pond and added quilt batting and leaves and pieces of pvc and broken terra cota (sp?).... I was providing any frog with a means by which to brumate safely by staying "put" at the bottom. Remember.... frogs don't brumate in mud or muck.... if they did... they'd be cut off from the oxygen in the water they need to make it to spring. Again... when it comes to an artificial environment.... whether they live or die depends on so many variables it's just better off draining a pond and relocating anything in it before winter sets in. Unfortunately.... all too many man-made ponds become death traps because most ponders don't understand the needs of a brumating frog and then there are those who don't want to understand.

Adding something.... weather's gonna be a wild card this year. Just consider the weather the midwest has had lately.... -7 and -5 and next week we're gonna plunge again and it's only December. Southern states that don't normally get hit are dealing with this "cold snap" too..... water that doesn't normally freeze over is freezing over. Ponders are getting caught with their pants down.... nobody expected this kind of whacky weather and we're gonna lose aquatic frogs because of it. That old saying "if we build it they will come" holds true and there's a lot of ponds out there that weren't drained that shoulda been drained to encourage frogs to choose more appropriate "digs". As far as the rivers go.... there's moving water under the ice. Moving water is well oxygenated.
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Last edited by Equilibrium; 12-15-2013 at 01:18 AM. Reason: adding something
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:19 AM   #42
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Yeah there's equil! I thought that was the case. There is more oxygen in the larger bodies of water. I have never found any dead frogs. To make sure I never do I am melting a hole in the ice when they freeze over. Thank you for the info equil. Hope your husband is ok.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:43 AM   #43
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How do they get the oxygen into their lungs?


...Oh, and welcome back. I hope all is with you and your hubby (and everyone else).
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:31 PM   #44
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While hibernating submerged - - all of the frog's respiration takes place through the skin.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:07 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildlife_Biologist View Post
While hibernating submerged - - all of the frog's respiration takes place through the skin.
Thanks, Wildlife_Biologist. That is what it sounded like with all of the talk of oxygen in the water.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:44 PM   #46
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It is so amazing how the frogs overwinter.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:13 PM   #47
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Egads.... sorry.... I totally missed adding the obvious... thanks W_B. Here's the deal Dappy.... frog lungs aren't all that well developed.... they can't get enough oxygen into their bloodstream based on "lung power" alone so.... on land they breathe through their lungs AND their skin. When under water AFTER their metabolism has been slowed down dramatically in preparation for hibernating over winter when there would be no food available and no way for them to keep their body temps above freezing.... they're well capable of breathing exclusivley through their skin as long as there's ample oxygen in the water. This is why ponders in the northern reaches have to provide a sufficient volume of water in their ponds, air exchange at the surface, and an appropriate substrate for them to brumate in that will keep them down at the bottom for the duration.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:29 PM   #48
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Now I understand why and how a small pond verses a large pond or a moving stream in the wild affects things.
It's the lack of oxygen AND-OR the lack of bottom material (NOT mud) that ends up either suffocating or allowing dislodging, raising and freezing them to death.
Thank you!
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Here's the deal Dappy.... frog lungs aren't all that well developed.... they can't get enough oxygen into their bloodstream based on "lung power" alone so.... on land they breathe through their lungs AND their skin. When under water AFTER their metabolism has been slowed down dramatically in preparation for hibernating over winter.... they're well capable of breathing exclusivley through their skin as long as there's ample oxygen in the water...
I kind of figured it was through the skin while brumating underwater, but I had no idea that they breathe through their skin to compensate for insufficient oxygen coming from lungs alone. New to me. It makes me realize how little I really know about frogs (and likely other animals as well).
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:47 AM   #50
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An article on helping wildlife in winter that I saw on facebook.

Sustain wildlife in the winter
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