The Handsome Betta Fish

The Betta fish is possibly the most handsome tropical fish out there. We say handsome because the male of the species is the bigger and more exotic one. Referred to as the jewel of the Orient, Betta are most abundant in the shallow rice paddies of Thailand. ...

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Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

So, what, exactly, is the watch on your wrist, Big Ben in London, or the national atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado, actually measuring? The first definition of a second was 1/86,400 of the average ... Continue reading


Hurricanes, The Basics

There is nothing like them in the atmosphere. Born in warm tropical waters, these spiraling masses require a complex combination of atmospheric processes to grow, mature, and then die. They are not ... Continue reading


What's So Bad About The Badlands?

Hundreds of square miles of South Dakota are known as 'Badlands', a dry terrain of colorful rock formations and little vegetation. For pioneers crossing them in the 19th century, these lands were ... Continue reading


Botrytis: The Noble Rot

Gray mold is a common disease of small fruits (e.g. strawberries) and flowers (e.g. petunias) in warm, humid weather. It is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, which produces huge numbers of ... Continue reading


Where Do Frogs Go In The Winter?

WhereDoFrogsGoInTheWinterMammals are endotherms, meaning they maintain a constant body temperature no matter what the environmental conditions are. For example, humans, dogs and cats are mammals. When the weather gets cold, we can still maintain our regular 98.6F body temperature. Some animals cannot do this; they are called ectotherms. The body temperature of ectotherms follows their environment, for example if it is cold outside, their body temperature falls. They must bask in the sun to get warm and cool off in the shade, or under the water. Amphibians, reptiles and insects are ectotherms.

During the spring, you may remember seeing many tadpoles in a pond or stream. Then in the summer the tadpoles grow arms and legs; they turn into a frog. Where exactly do the frogs go in the winter? I don't think anyone has seen a frog jumping around in the frigid winter months, especially in the northern United States. Frogs are ectotherms and because they have to keep themselves warm, the winter would be especially tragic for them. Spring peepers, wood frogs, green frogs and others bury themselves in the mud around a wetland, such as a pond or stream.

The interesting fact about frogs is that because they only bury themselves about an inch deep, some species of frogs actually freeze into a solid state. How do they stay alive, though? Well, they have special components in their body that actually act as antifreeze. Their body converts glycogen into glucose, which keeps the frog alive while it's frozen solid. When the ground becomes warm again in spring, the frogs thaw-out and remain active until winter comes around again!