EDUCATION: Frog Film Fest

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Science  07 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5745, pp. 27
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5745.27b

Instead of prolonging their breeding season over weeks or months as some amphibians do, wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) cram it into three or four frantic nights. To screen video showing tangles of mating frogs and other amphibian footage, click over to Frog Calls, hosted by documentary filmmaker David McGowan. The site focuses on Midwestern species, offering clips of a dozen kinds of frogs and toads singing their lungs out. In video interviews, herpetologists discuss topics such as the different calls males use to attract mates and rebuff rivals and the advantages of breeding early or late in the year. Researchers also touch on the problems of malformed and disappearing amphibians. For example, Michael Lannoo of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, explains that the once-common northern cricket frog (Acris crepitans) has vanished from Canada and much of the upper Midwest, possibly because roads and development prevent the amphibians from hopping to more suitable habitat.

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