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Species of the Week
Rana sylvatica | Wood Frog

Amphibian News Archive
Human activities ranging from vehicle traffic to industry are making the world an increasingly noisy place to live in; two recent studies show frogs have found ways to cope with the human soundscape. Tennessen et al. (2018) studied wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) in northeastern United States where noise from vehicle traffic is physiologically stressful to recently metamorphosed tadpoles, negatively impacting frog health. However, they found that wood frogs living near human noise have rapidly evolved to no longer be stressed by noisy human environments. In Panama, predators like bats and midges avoid noisy urban areas because they rely on sounds to hunt. Halfwerk and colleagues (2018) found that male tĂșngara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus) from urban habitats can flexibly adjust their calls. Urban dwelling male tĂșngara create more conspicuous calls, which are more attractive to females. When these urban males are placed in the forest, they adjust their calls to be less conspicuous and therefore less obvious to predators. Male tĂșngara frogs from forests are unable to flexibly adjust their calls if they are placed in the city. Together, these studies show that some frogs species can rapidly evolve to deal with noisy human environments whereas others can adjust their behaviors accordingly.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,968 (Jan 19, 2019) Newly added species