Friday, February 18, 2011

 North American Bullfrogs

Bullfrogs are the largest real frog found in North America. They grow to an average of to be about 3 1/2 to 6 inches long in body length (although some on record are as large as 8 inches!!), legs add another 7 to 10 inches. Their color varies from brownish to shades of green, often with spots or blotches of a darker color around their backs. Their back feet are fully webbed.
How do you tell the boys bullfrogs from the girl bullfrogs?
Well thats easy. When looking at an adult bullfrog examine the size of the external ear of the frog and compare to the size of their eye. The ear is a round circle located on the side of the head near the eye, and in males it is much larger than the eye. In females the ear is as large or smaller than the eye. Also, during the breeding season the throat of the male bullfrog is yellow, and the female's is white.
Where Do American Bullfrogs Live?
They are found from Nova Scotia to central Florida, from the East coast to Wisconsin, and across the Great Plains to the Rockies. The natural western limits of this species are now confused due to their introduction into places as far west as California and Mexico. It is known that bullfrogs were introduced to areas of California and Colorado in the early 1900's. The species has also been introduced (accidentally or on purpose) into southern Europe, South America, and Asia.

What kind of habitat do they live in? 
North American bullfrogs need to live in water and are therefore usually found near some source of water, like a lake, pond, river, or bog. Warm, calm, shallow waters are their favorite places. Bullfrogs are becoming much more common in areas that have been changed by humans. Increased water temperatures and increased amounts of water plants, which are common signs of lakes that have been polluted by humans, favor bullfrogs by providing good habitats for growth, having tadpoles, and escaping from predators.

How do they grow?
It takes about 4 days for spotted tadpoles to emerge from the floating egg mass. The tadpoles have gills and a tail, which eventually disappears as the tadpole transforms into a froglet. Tadpole development is quite slow; it may take between one to three years to begin transformation from the tadpole stage into the adult stage. Adults reach full maturity and are able to have tadpoles after an additional two years.

How long do bullfrogs live?
The average bullfrog lives seven to nine years in the wild. The record lifespan of an animal in captivity is 16 years.

How do Bullfrogs behave?
North American bullfrogs prefer warm weather and will hibernate during cold weather. A bullfrog may bury itself in mud and construct a small cave-like structure for the winter. Their hunting style is 'sit and wait.' Bullfrogs can wait for a long time for some type of prey to come by, then, with a flash of the tongue, they grab it and bring it back into their mouths. Bullfrogs are active both during the day and at night; they are most active when the weather is moist and warm. Adult males are very aggressive and defend their territories, by physically wrestling with others.

How do they communicate with eachother?
The call of a male bullfrog has a low frequency and can be heard for over a distance. The sound is often described as a low rumbling "jug-o-rum". Bullfrogs also have a good sense of vision and sense vibrations.  See a video of a bullfrog calling here:

What do Bullfrogs eat?
Bullfrogs are predators. They usually eat snakes, worms, insects, crustaceans, frogs, tadpoles, and aquatic eggs of fish, frogs, insects, or salamanders. They are cannibalistic and will not hesitate to eat their own kind. There have also been a few cases reported of bullfrogs eating bats. Bullfrog tadpoles mostly graze on aquatic plants.

What eats Bullfrogs, and how do they avoid being eaten?
Humans hunt bullfrogs for frog legs, but they have a limited hunting season in most states. Bullfrogs are also eaten by a wide variety of other animals, depending on the region. These include herons, turtles, water snakes, raccoons, and belted kingfishers. Most fish are averse to eating bullfrog tadpoles because of their undesirable taste.

Do they cause problems?
Introduced bullfrogs may be driving native frogs to extinction in some areas. Colorado, among many other places, is experiencing problems due to the introduced bullfrog population. Bullfrogs may have been introduced accidentally to trout streams and lakes during the Colorado Divisions of Wildlife fish stocking operations. Bullfrogs occasionally invade fish hatchery ponds and their larvae are caught along with the fishes that are routinely stocked in ponds.

How do they interact with us?
North American bullfrogs help to control insect pests. They are important for medical research because their skeletal, muscle, digestive, and nervous systems are similar to those of other animals. They are often hunted for meat (frog legs).

Are they endangered?
Bullfrogs are dealing fairly well with the changes in the environment that have occurred due to human influences, and they are becoming increasingly common in areas that have been modified by humans. Bullfrogs have a much higher critical thermal maximum than most other frogs, meaning that they are able to thrive in higher water temperatures. Bullfrogs have a longer breeding season and a high rate of surviving through the tadpole stage, which allows them to be more successful than other frogs. In many areas, such as California and Colorado, bullfrogs are driving other frog populations to extinction. An interesting reason to explain why bullfrogs in California might have an advantage over other species that are native to that state is that bullfrogs evolved with many different kinds of fish in eastern North America. For many years in California people have been introducing new fish species that are predators of frogs. Bullfrogs have evolved ways to avoid being eaten by fish, such as tadpoles that are not active much of the time which reduces their exposure to predators. Native frog species of California are also suffering a decline because bullfrogs are intense predators on frog populations.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Surfing Dog With A Cause!

My Auntie Crystal is really into animals and animal rescuing. Me and my mom asked her for a cool animal story and she told us about an awesome dog named Ricochet.

Ricochet is a champion surf dog who has become a role model, internet sensation, fundraiser, and a good doer. She was born into a non profit organization that trains puppies to become service dogs for people with disabilities. Part of her training included balance and coordination exercises as soon as she could walk! At 8 weeks of age, she jumped on a boogie board in a kiddie pool, and she has been surfing ever since!

As she grew, so did her interest in chasing critters, which is a no-no for service dogs. So, she had to be released from that position. But since she proved that she could surf pretty well by winning 3rd place at her first surf dog competition, the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, her role was changed to SURFice dog! She's still able to help people with disabilities... just in a non traditional way! Paw-abunga!

Now, she lives a lifestyle of helping others by "pawing it forward" while raising awareness & funds for human/animal causes. She's raised more than $61,210 through her initiative Surfin' for Paws-abilities. She is best known for her viral YouTube video, "From Service dog to SURFice dog", which has almost 3 million views! But she was also in Marmaduke!

Check out her official website to learn more about the charities she raises money for:

Now for some fun! 
Wanna know how to teach your dog how to surf? 

My Nana's Golden Retriever doesn't surf but he swims in the pool daily so I was curious how can I train Enzo to Surf if I wanted to?

Some dogs jump right on the board, the first time in the ocean!! But there are others who jump off, and use the surfboard as a diving board! Others are too distracted to focus on surfing, or others who just aren't sure about this new activity. These tips can help those that might be having a hard time getting started, or who don't have much time to spend at the beach. Most of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home (according to Ricochet's website)! here are some tips from Ricochet's site: and below is a video with some tips for getting started.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas From Some Furry Friends......woof...

Just wanted to share this really funny video of some cute dogs getting in the Christmas spirit...(like me!) They really know how to decorate a Christmas tree...its amazing! Merry Christmas to everyone....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Dream Came True! No Really!!!


My dream actually came true. Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona gave me the Junior Vet treatment! I was able to come out to their wildlife park and explore their amazing park. They had a really cool safari where animals came right up to the car and we were able to hand feed the wild animals. I got to feed a cute giraffe named Pilgrim, she put her whole head in the bus and ate carrots out of my hand!


They had really cool shows like Tiger Splash where huge tigers play in a giant pool with giant pool toys and the keepers there, and the keepers were really funny too. The tigers reminded me of my golden retriever Enzo ...he really likes the water too. I got to be really close to lots of my favorite animals like Black Bears, Grisly Bears, Hyenas, Tigers, Lions, Snakes, Parrots, Lemurs, Giraffes, Ostriches, Tortoises and a whole bunch more!


One of the best parts of my adventures is I got the chance to interview some of their zoo keepers and ask them questions about the animals they work with in the park. Robin and Natalie were really nice and gave me a lot of information about how I can work with animals when I grow up, how I can help with animals now and they taught me a lot about the animals there at the park and how they take care of them.


If you are thinking about a zoo trip you MUST check out Out of Africa Wildlife Park - It was the best! I've never been to a place where I could be closer to wild animals it was the greatest day of my life....seriously! You can visit their website at

Friday, October 22, 2010

Faith Learned To Walk With Only 2 Legs!!

This is Faith
I got an email from my grandma about this cool dog named Faith and I thought I'd share the story of this awesome dog with all of you. This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which had to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him. His first owner also did not think that he could survive and he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'. But then, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him. She became determined to teach and train this little dog to walk by himself. She named him 'Faith'. 
This is Jude, She adopted faith.
In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let him feel the movement. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him for standing up and jumping around. Even the other dog at home encouraged him to walk. Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his hind legs and to jump to move forward. After further training in the snow, he could now walk like a human being. 
Walking Like A Pro!
Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he attracts people to him. He is fast becoming famous on the international scene and Has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows. There is now a book entitled 'With a Little Faith' being published about him. He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies. 
Looks Like Faith Has Fans
 His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

NOPE! It's totally true!! If you are planning a vacation to Canada make sure to stop in Cochrane, Ontario!  You will find a pretty amazing animal experience there called the Polar Bear Habitat.The best part about it.... you can swim with the polar bears! No, seriously! There's a wading pool beside the polar bear pool and while you are in it you are separated from the great white giants by a protective divider (to make it actually safe). Both children and adults can try it.
The Polar Bear Habitat is an award-winning rescue center for non releasable bears. The bears offer you the opportunity to observe and share their lives. A self-guided tour through our five-acre, natural conservation facility allows you to see them in a safe and natural way, as they learn, play, and interact. 
The Polar Bear Swim is only available in the summer so plan your vacations wisely.  Enjoy things like: "meet the bears" sessions, interpretive programs, and an "up close and personal" wading pool will educate, entertain, and enthrall you, as these majestic animals reveal their unique personalities.  
To plan YOUR vacation...check out their website:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Anjana The Chimp And Her Baby Tigers Buddies

This cute chimp isn't just a primate - she is this baby tiger's Best friend. Anjana (The Chimp) cradles the white tiger cub after acting as sord of like a mother to him and his twin brother. The two-year-old chimpanzee clearly isn't monkeying around, she has also raised LEOPARDS and LIONS.

Anjana has been helping zoo keeper - named:China York look after 23-day-old cubs Mitra and Shiva at TIGERS (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) in South Carolina, US.

The chimp took on the mama role after the youngsters were separated from their mother. She turned aggressive after being spooked when hurricane Hannah ripped through the institute. Anjana has been a constant companion to infant animal caregiver China - and the chimp loves aping her work.

TIGERS founder Dr Antle said: "Anjana has joined China in caring for baby animals. Monkey see, monkey do and Anjana has helped China raise them. "She has acted as a mother to leopards, lions and orangutans and has done the same with these baby white tigers. "She gives them a bottle and lies with them - she is a great assistant."

TIGERS has bred many rare and talented animals. This year they unveiled their latest "liger" cub - bred from a lion father and a tiger mother. The institute has 45 big cats, including white-and-red-striped golden tabby tigers - one of the rarest big cat breeds. There are also bears, other primates and an African elephant.

The highly-trained caregivers at the institute have trained animals to appear in more than 500 movies, including Hollywood blockbusters Dr Dolittle and Forrest Gump.

Dr Antle added: "The animals are given thousands of hours of training and constant care. "People think it is dangerous to get so close to wild animals but the handlers have been with them since they were cubs and have developed a special friendship based on love and respect."

That might be the case but Anjana should be careful around her feline friends. White tigers can grow to nearly 660lbs and when they do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How To Treat A Rattlesnake Bite...Owww
Most people who live in Arizona never see a snake their entire lives, except maybe at the zoo. But if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by a snake, it is rarely fatal. Especially if you follow these tips.
Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Not much, I hope.

Here's How:

  1. Don't know what kind of snake bit you? There are many varieties of snakes in the Phoenix area, some of which are venomous and some which are not. The most venomous snakes that are the most dangerous to your health in this area are the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and the Arizona Coral Snake (also known as the Sonoran Coralsnake).
  2. Look for symptoms. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably poisonous. 
  3. Keep the bitten area still. You can immobilize the area with an improvised splint made from a board, magazines, or other stiff material tied to the limb. Don't tie it too tight---you don't want to reduce blood flow.
  4. Remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area in case of swelling.
  5. Keep the area of the area of the snake bite lower than the heart.
  6. Go to a hospital immediately. If you cannot get to a hospital, call the Arizona Poison Control and Drug Information Center at 1-800-362-0101 immediately.


  1. If bitten by a rattlesnake, DO NOT use ice to cool the bite.
  2. If bitten by a rattlesnake, DO NOT cut open the wound and try to suck out the venom.
  3. If bitten by a rattlesnake, DO NOT use a tourniquet. This will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.
  4. Avoid rattlesnakes altogether. If you see one, don't try to get closer to it or catch it.
  5. Keep your hands and feet away from areas where you cannot see, like between rocks or in tall grass where rattlesnakes like to rest.
Rattlesnakes can be hard to spot because they they blend in with their surroundings. Be extra careful hiking. Look out for rocks and bushes where they may hide and never reach into holes are rock piles. Also keep your pets close! Rattlesnakes bite pets too. Keep your pets safe and on a leash when hiking.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get The FACTS On Jellyfish?
Even Though One Actually Stung Me...

 I have to say ....even though I was actually stung by a real live Jellyfish in August of this year I am still totally curious about these weird little ghostly animals. Did you know they are immortal? Check out these cool facts!

Let’s take a look at a few interesting jellyfish facts. Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking. You want to know why would I want to talk about jellyfish facts. To be honest, I’ve been really into this whole life below the surface of the sea lately and started working towards getting some scuba diving experience so I can get to know these sea creatures from up close and personal, in their own, native environment. Back to one of the most fascinating sea creatures, the jellyfish:

Jellyfish Fact #1: Jellyfish to Rule the Oceans

Because we the dumb humans keep over fishing the oceans, giant jellyfish such as the Echizen Jellyfish seen in picture above are taking over parts of the oceans, especially around South East Asia, The Gulf of Mexico, The Black Sea and The North Sea. Jellyfish strive because overfishing and climate change result in fewer fish in the seas giving more room to jellyfish to reproduce unhindered. It’s gotten far enough for researchers to believe that “jellyfish stable state”, a state in which jellyfish will rule the oceans is near.

Jellyfish Fact #2: Immortal Jellyfish

Yet another reason why numbers of jellyfish in the oceans seem to be growing rapidly as of late is the fact that certain species of jellyfish don’t have to die. Marine biologists discovered that Turritopsis Nutricula is the only animal known as hydrozoan, which means it can revert itself entirely to the state when it was young. This type of jellyfish somehow developed the ability to transdifferentiate. Transdifferentiation is the process of cell development in which the cell grows younger, not older. Scientists say that this jellyfish can repeat the process of transdifferentiation indefinitely which renders the creature potentially immortal. Observed Turritopsis Nutricula jellyfish, which are mere 5 millimetres long returned themselves repeatedly to a polyp state.

Jellyfish Fact #3: Jellyfish as Malaria and Dengue Fever Solution

While millions of dollars and years of research have been invested into a solution which could assist with desperate malaria and dengue fever infections situation in some parts of the world, so far there have been no help for endemic areas. Yet there is simple solution – white jellyfish love mosquito larvae. There is at least one biologists who sees that as a solution. Dr. Lisa Gershwin from Launceston in Australian Tasmania believes that Craspedacusta Sowerbyi, one of fresh water jellyfish which can strive in small bodies of water and loves mosquito larvae could easily turn into a natural mosquito eliminator. Since introduction of other mosquito predators, such as spiders or bats have not resulted in significant drop in mosquito infestations, perhaps attacking mosquito larvae with white jellyfish could yield better results.

Jellyfish Fact #4: Jellyfish 

Jellyfish Trivia: Did you know that jellyfish’s mouth and jellyfish’s anus are one and the same? It’s true. Jellyfish have one digestive cavity which serves the purpose of gullet, intestine and stomach all in one. What jellyfish eats goes in through the same opening as what jellyfish poops out. While jellyfish do have a mouth and an anus, they don’t have bones, brain or heart. 98% of jellyfish’s body is made of water. No wonder they near disappear when they are washed up on the shore.
More interestingly, jellyfish are radially symmetrical. That means if you could cut one jellyfish exactly in half, you would get two identical jellyfish halves.

Jellyfish Video

Check out this video by National Geographics (I love National Geographics) which will get you introduced to our #1 jellyfish fact – jellyfish invasion (warning – crazy Aussie accent in the video):

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Train Your Pet Mouse...Say What??

I decided to start my blog by sharing an artical about training your mouse. I have a pet mouse named Mickey and I am wondering if it's possible to train him to do tricks. I found this story about training mice. People out there that have pet mice, please read this artical I found.

While it is typically rats that are trained, it is also quite possible to train your pet mouse. In fact, these little creatures can be some of the most fun pets once they are trained. You can get them to do things such as sit in a shirt pocket or on your shoulder as you move around doing your ordinary activities. It is not all that difficult to train a mouse but you will need a great deal of patience.
To begin with, understand that your mouse is going to be motivated by treats as its reward for being smart. So your first step when you want to train your pet mouse is to buy an assortment of its' favorite treats. Have them handy where you can reach them easily.

The next step is to build trust between you and your pet mouse. This is the part where you are going to need a great deal of patience because it usually takes awhile before you see that first result. Put a treat in your hand and place your hand into the mouse's cage. Now sit back, read a book or magazine, and wait. Eventually, your mouse is going to crawl into your hand to take that treat from you. When that happens, replace the treat with another one and repeat the process.

Establishing familiarity is vital when you decide to train your pet mouse. If your mouse knows you and begins to form a bond of trust with you, the rest of the tricks will come easily. Once you get it to hop into your hand the first time, you will be able to build on that. Soon, it will be hurrying to climb into your hand because it has been taught to believe that there will be tasty treats there all the time.

Take this a step further. Move the treat about halfway up your arm. Your mouse will start to crawl there to retrieve it. Before you know it, you will have the mouse scurrying up your arm to find the treat that is waiting on your shoulder. This is how you can train your pet mouse to sit on your shoulder. It is all very easy to accomplish as long as you have patience and treats.