Music of the Night

Written by Tyler Parker

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day we here at the Zoo would be remiss if we didn’t talk about how amphibians find that special someone.
Amphibians are probably the most commonly heard vertebrate on the planet and this is due to the wonderful chorus that frogs and toads provide every year in the spring and summer, at least in North America.

frog blog1
Photo credit: S.D. BIJU ET AL/CEYLON JOURNAL OF SCIENCE (BIO. SCI.) 2014

Each year large groups of males congregate at perennial or vernal pools, ponds, or streams and sing for their mate. The larger the chorus of bachelor frog the more attractive it is for the ladies. Yet, even if multiple different species of frogs or toads are calling at one pond, each species of frog and toad have their own unique and identifiable call. This is how many researchers calculate populations of amphibians by listening to each individual species chorus and count the number of males calling.

This bombastic strategy isn’t the only way amphibians find their mates. Some frogs and toads are unable to call loud enough due to other noise in their environments such as fast moving streams or rivers. These frogs and toads employ the strategy of semaphoring, which is basically flagging or waving of either their front or back legs to stake claim to a territory or attract a mate.

Salamanders and caecilians utilize chemicals called pheromones to attract a potential mate.  Newts attract mates via a skin color change or a physical change in body shape often, with males developing very prominent crest or dorsal appendages.

In all, amphibians utilize a wide variety of ways to attract a special someone, yet all are unique and amazing in their own right.



Search Blog & Website
Subscribe to Houston Zoo News
Get the latest stories and updates from the Zoo in your inbox! Find out how: Houston Zoo News
Houston Zoo Facebook Page

Brrrr. It’s cold out there! We have made the decision to close the Houston Zoo tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 17. Don’t worry, the animals are safe and warm in their night houses!

A limited number of staff from departments like Animal Programs, Safety and Security and Operations/Facilities will be onsite to perform essential services and have the Zoo ready for us to reopen Thursday morning.

A big ol' high-five to our awesome team members who braved this icy cold to come in and care for our animals and zoo facilities.
... See MoreSee Less

13

 

Comment on Facebook

2018 SHALOM Islam Israel War(Psa83), Russia Iran NATO Israel War(Ezk38), 3rdTemple 144000 Israelis(Rev7), 5000 Nukes, World TrillionDebts, Quantum RFID666, FEMA, Bunkers, VaticanPope Babylon(Rev17), USABabylon City(Rev18), Mystery Freemason, Babylon AntiChrist(Rev13), FakeUFO Area51 Delusion(2Thes2), Record Plagues.Quakes.Volcanoes.Fireballs, WormWood ALLSKYCAM..COM (Rev8), Armageddon(Rev19), Millennium(Rev20), Rapture IMMINENT(1Thes5)? Shalom

Thank you for ZOO LIGHTS. it was amazing this year!

Safety and welfare of the animals first! Thanks guys for all you do.

Thank you for taking care of our precious animals that we love to come see!

Yes thank you for everything yall do to keep the animals safe .. y'all keep safe and warm

thank you for all you do and keep the furry babies warm

Thank u for keeping those Babies safe and warm!❤️

💙

Thank you for taking good care of our animals!

Ty

Thank you for all you do!

Mandy Rinker— really? Too cold? You’re from the Midwest girl

Thank you for keeping those beautiful animals safe. 💕

Thank you, zoo team. Stay safe!

Thank you for all you do for these amazing animals!!

Thank you for making sure the animals are safe and warm.

💖

Thank you 💕

+ View more comments

We're closed today, January 16. Stay warm and dry, Houston! ... See MoreSee Less

22

 

Comment on Facebook

Keep the animals warm!

Why? What's goin on!?

Thank you to all the wonderful staff that went in to take care of their critter babies! Be safe!

Stay warm as you take care of our lovely zoo and it’s residents❤️

Misty Flanigan no zoo for Connor

Stay warm sweet animals 🦁🐯🐒🦆🐅🐆🦓🦏🐘🦍🦒

Too cold! Good idea.

+ View more comments

We are open on this beautiful Monday! Get out and enjoy the weather before it gets extra chilly this week. ... See MoreSee Less

2

We are open on this beautiful Monday! Get out and enjoy the weather before it gets extra chilly this week.

 

Comment on Facebook

Giraffe feeding was awesome! Only wished we were given even more lettuce!

Had a great time today

We are here. 😀