Hey Hey Happy Earth Day and Happy Froggy Friday! TGI Froggy Friday, that means the weekend is around the corner and its time to get out in the bush and have a listen for frogs. You can see our Bush Trackers Blog for an idea of where to go!
So, we know frogs call, why are they doing this? Well to get a mate of course. They sing lullaby's to their prospective partners - how romantic! They force air across their larynx (voicebox) and at the same time inflate a sac beneath their throat to amplify the sound. Some frogs have such a loud call you can hear them from a kilometre away.
So most of us will know that only the males call, but how do the girls find their man? Well they have good hearing for a start, sometimes their 'ears' are hidden behind skin, other times they are visible. The reason I wrote 'ear' is because they are not fleshy ears that stick out like ours, they are a circle of cartilage on the outside of the head just behind the eye. Its actually their eardrum and in frogs its called a tympanum. The fascinating thing is that frog's ears are designed to pick up calls from males of it's own kind only. They basically act like a mini radio tuned to a particular station - the station is the male of the species calling - essentially that's all they can 'hear'.
Frogs calling this time of year and especially after this good rain we have had are Common Froglets, Southern Brown Tree frog, Victorian Smooth Froglet and if you are lucky you can hear the Brood Frogs (Brown and Southern). Head over to this website https://frogs.org.au/frogs/of/Victoria/ to hear the sounds of some frogs, and get out there and have a listen. If you are not sure, record it on your smart phone and email it to me and I can identify it for you :-)
Photo: Eastern Dwarf Frog by Save the Frogs! Info check: 'It's true! Frogs are cannibals' (M. Tyler)