“Hey, cut the noise, I want to bark!” is what I howl at the nearby frogs when we are anchored in the marsh, and they start up! These amphibians come in all sizes, and two of my favorite type have leaped aboard The Wetland Wanderer! Green tree frogs are cool! They eat insects (which thrills Sue), have nice croaking voices, and can stick to almost any surface. My two new buddies live on the back and the top of the houseboat and eat freshly hatched insects, including may flies and mosquitoes. At dusk and sunrise the “croakers” have been “serenading us!” They have been on board since we were in the lower Atchafalaya Basin.
Imagine being able to leap 40 times your length, swim with built-in goggles over your eyes, snag a meal with your sticky tongue, and grip almost any surface with your feet. These amazing amphibians do all of these feats and more. The word “amphibian” means something that lives (bios) both (amphi) on land and in water. Frogs and toads are the most common in the amphibian animal group, which also includes salamanders. Tree frogs live almost all over the world and their skins come in lots of colors and patterns. They range in size from that of a hamburger bun down to the size of a lima bean!
Frogs have tiny teeth that help them hold onto food, but they swallow their “chow” whole. Do frogs drink water? Nope! They absorb water through their skin. They always need to stay near damp places because they also lose water through their skin.
Each kind of frog has its own vocal call. Males sing to attracted females, but both males and females croak. There is even a tree frog that barks just like me! Check out the picture of Sue with “Squeaky” on her nose! We named our stowaways “Squeaky” and “Limey!”
Finally, all of you all do well these last few days in school and keep up with me this summer! We will be out venturing on the houseboat till October.
IN CLOSING: All of us living and working on Marshmission hope that you learned lots of interesting and valuable facts about the coastal wetlands of Louisiana. Knowledge is critical for making wise decisions about the future of those wetlands. Please remember all summer long to tune in our website for our exciting updates on the new “Coastal Classroom Album.” Increasing your awareness of the serious threats to our invaluable wetlands has always been our main goal!