The wood frog - The frog that can freeze itself
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The wood frog - The frog that can freeze itself

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     The Wood Frog is one interesting specimen from the amphibian family. Everybody knows what a frog looks like, but this particular one is unique thanks to its ability to freeze. Yes, wood frogs can freeze during the winter to protect themselves from death. However, while frozen, the frog is not death; it is just in its hibernating period. 

     A wood frog looks like a usual frog, coming in varying colors, such as brown and red. Usually, it has black markings on the eyes, which makes it look like a robber. The wood frog does not grow much, adults reaching between 1.4 and 3.25 inches in length.  The wood frog only mates in the summer, this being their breeding season. While they are looking for a mate, the male usually makes “quack-like calls” from day to night.
While they are in their freezing period, the wood frog stops breathing and the heart stops beating. How are they still alive then? Well, the wood frog has a special “power”: it can produce a special “antifreeze substance” that prevents the ice to freeze their cells. Therefore, ice will form in the space between their cells. They usually freeze for about 7 months, during the long and cold winter. When they unfreeze, they usually do it to search a mate!


Wood Frog 1


The wood frog can be found in multiple areas around the globe, but it is the only frog specimen that lives “above the Arctic Circle” and in Alaska.  The perfect habitat for the wood frog is the woodlands, but it seems that this frog has adapted fast to harsher environments, such as Alaska.



The wood frog feeds on arachnids, insects, worms, slugs or snails. 


Interesting Facts

 The wood frog can freeze, but so can its fertilized eggs! If the fertilizing process is caught by winter, it simply stops and begins again after the hibernating period ends!

  • Wood frog tadpoles can recognize their sisters and brother “from other tadpoles”!
  • If they are located in territories with warmer winters, the wood frog will simply hide under the leaves “from the previous fall” and begin their hibernating process. They only freeze when it’s necessary!

Wood frog 2



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Pictures picture 1 picture 2 - picture 3 picture 4 - picture 5

Published by Silvia Totu


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