Happy Friday the 13th! Hope you’ve all rolled around in rabbits (I feel like they’re luckier with their feet attached) and done all the lovely superstitious things for good luck. We’re on the second to last installment of the Alphabet Challenge!
The Yosemite toad is endemic to California in the high sierra. There isn’t a current number for population size, but it has declined by an estimated 50% over ten years.
Leading hypotheses for the declines are disease (chytridiomycosis), airborne contaminants, and livestock grazing.
Yosemite toads breed in freshwater every other year or once every three years. Their breeding sites may dry up before the tadpoles metamorphose. Despite much of the population being in a protected area such as Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, populations are still on the decline.
Probably one of the coolest toads out there…but still kinda gross.
– Scientific Classification –
A female surinam toad (Pipa pipa) in the Natural History Museum of Vienna. The object was conservated in a glass filled with a special conservation liquid; because of the difficult light situation I had to edit the image strongly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Surinam toad, (Pipa pipa), aquatic South American toad (family Pipidae) in which the eggs are incubated on the back of the female. The Surinam toad is about 10 to 17 cm (4 to 7 inches) long. It has a flat, squarish body, small eyes, and a flat head with loose flaps of skin on the snout and jaws. The digits end in small, star-shaped appendages that aid food finding. It eats a variety of small vertebrates and invertebrates.
The Surinam toad mates in water. As each egg is released, it is fertilized and pressed by the male to the back of the female. In the next several hours, the skin grows around the eggs to enclose them in a cyst with a horny lid. After about 80 days’ development, the young emerge as miniatures of the adult. The Surinam toad is one of seven species of Pipa. In five of the other species, the young emerge as tadpoles.
The olm is a Europe’s only cave adapted vertebrate, and has numerous adaptations for an underground life. Olms hunt their prey in the absolute dark and have developed a powerful sensory system of smell, taste, hearing and electrosensitivity. Olms are pale and sightless, although their skin-covered eyes are still light sensitive. They are an entirely aquatic species that can survive without food for up to 10 years and live to an age of 58 or more. Part of an ancient lineage of amphibians evolving independently for 190 million years, this species is now threatened by pollution and habitat disturbance. A small subpopulation of “black olms” may be a separate species requiring additional protection.
They can be found in the caves of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and possibly Montenegro and Serbia. Olms are a pinkish color due to their capillaries near their skin and their translucency allows you to see the colors of their organs. Aside from being called Cave Salamanders, they have also been dubbed “human fish”, since someone stranger than myself thought they resembled a small human. Adult Olms develop lungs in addition to the gill tufts on the sides of their heads.
Here’s this freaky little creature moving just the slightest bit:
One of the great things about WordPress is the little calendar that shows you the days on which you’ve posted. One of the bad things about it is looking at that same calendar and seeing how sad and empty it looks. -_- To get myself back into the swing of posting, I’ve decided to start an Alphabet challenge. Hopefully I can kick-start myself into a blogging groove again with this. Below I’ll list each day, the letter, and as I pick my topic, I’ll come back here and add it. The one day that I probably won’t post on is June 8th. Blasted GRE. If I absolutely cannot find an animal or drug or something that follows the days letter, I’ll get creative.