Huge Congregation of River Frogs Documented in Georgia
by Dirk Stevenson
When the accomplished Albert Hazen Wright (1879-1970), Cornell University Professor and Herpetologist, first encountered the strange tadpoles of the River Frog (Lithobates heckscheri), he knew instantly he was looking at a new species. Wright, who described the new frog in 1924, wrote of the species’ habitat”…swampy edges of rivers and streams, a truly fluviatile species” and mentioned that the polliwogs “travel in big schools as no other big tadpoles do.”
John Jensen, herpetologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Jim Wright (no relation to Albert) just published a fascinating paper in the current issue of Herpetological Review about the River Frog. Last May, along the shores of a tributary to Muckalee Creek, Jim snapped incredible photos of a mass metamorphosis event of River Frogs—an estimated 4,000 tadpoles transformed and became froglets, congregating on nearby sand-and-mud-bars.
An adult female River Frog can lay 5,000 to 14,000 eggs in a floating surface film. The tadpoles require one to two years to develop and sometimes reach phenomenal sizes (ca. 5 inches) prior to metamorphosis…
(read more: Orianne Society)
Photos by Jim Wright and Dirk Stevenson
I love frogs.
4:14 pm • 26 July 2014 • 94 notes
The USGS has just released a gorgeous new geologic map of Mars, combining data from four separate spacecraft to paint a rainbow-like spectrum of terrain and texture upon the red planet.
See those four bulges on the left side of the spherical projection? Each of those four mountains, Olympus Mons, Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons, and Pavonis Mons, are taller than any mountain on Earth, including Mauna Kea (which rises more than six miles from the ocean floor).
Learn more at Wired’s MapLab blog, and view the incredible high-res annotated version at the USGS website.
8:52 pm • 14 July 2014 • 852 notes
Nature; No Photoshop required.
1. Lenticular Clouds
2. Anvil Clouds
3. Cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz Clouds
4. Fallstreak Hole
5. Mammatus Clouds
6. Polar Stratospheric Cloud
7. Roll Cloud
8. Undulatus Asperatus
9. Mammatus Clouds
10. Undulatus Asperatus
I fucking love clouds
8:36 pm • 12 July 2014 • 105,146 notes
I found a bunch of these little guys when I tore down my above-ground pool :3
(Source: careful-with-that-ass-eugene, via serpenteatserpent)
10:08 am • 21 June 2014 • 167,703 notes
On rare years when the conditions are right in the arid landscape of the Badlands, in the American West, wildflowers burst into a display of colour for just a few days.
The vegetation in the region has adapted to the climate, with just a small amount of moisture the desert can become coloured with sweeping fields of Scorpion Weed, Beeplant and the flowers of the Pincushion Cacti. These blooms can be very short-lived to conserve moisture.
Photographs by Guy Tal
10:06 am • 21 June 2014 • 17,302 notes
"Borstenwurmer des Meeres"— A variety of marine worms
In: Das Meer by M. J. Schleiden [1804-1881]
Treasures of the NOAA Library Collection // via NOAA Photo Library
10:24 am • 20 June 2014 • 237 notes
At the heart of most, if not all, giant galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. When dust and gas falls into the central black hole, it heats up and emits intense radiation. Quasars, some of the brightest objects in the cosmos, are powered by these phenomena. In these artist’s impressions of a quasar, the rotating ring of matter, and powerful jets of particles thrown out at close to the speed of light can be seen.
Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)
4:43 pm • 18 June 2014 • 4,509 notes
How I wish a night sky like this wouldn’t be so rare to see in the cities.
Gifs from Ocean Sky by Alex Cherney.
10:05 pm • 15 June 2014 • 10,643 notes
Peacock spiders are well known for their colorful and dramatic courtship displays. In addition to raising the colorful flab that, when at rest, covers its abdomen, it also raises its back legs. Before it does this, it will stretch out its front legs and display with them as well.
Peacock spiders are native to Australia, and damn are they beautiful!
The University of New South Wales has a field station on the NSW Central Coast, at Smith’s Lake. During the annual field trip by the biology students, there was an informal challenge to rank collected specimens by the interesting if somewhat subjective measure of ‘cuteness.’
The only two real contenders were a minute brittlestar, and an almost as tiny peacock jumping spider :)
My favourite invertebrates.
2:05 pm • 5 June 2014 • 1,902 notes