Red-eyed Tree Frog

Red-eyed Tree Frog

Where in the world?

Rainforest canopies in Central America.

 

Animal Facts:

Adult female Red-eyed Tree Frogs grow up to 3 inches long, while the smaller males reach only 2 inches long.

These nocturnal frogs hide their purple or blue sides, orange toes, and red eyes while they sleep during the day, for excellent camouflage among leaves. At night, they hunt small insects and other arthropods.

When disturbed, these frogs open their bulging, bright red eyes. Red is often a color that indicates toxicity, and the sudden reveal is meant to momentarily distract the potential predator, giving the frog a chance to spring to safety.

Did you know?

Young froglets have yellow eyes after metamorphosis from the tadpole stage.  After about two weeks, red appears on the outer edge of the iris and spreads inward over a few days.

 

Siren

Siren

Where in the world?

Streams, swamps, lakes and rivers of the eastern United States and northern Mexico.

 

Animal Facts:

Sirens are a species of aquatic salamander and are some of the largest amphibians found in North America. They have an elongated body and range in color from black to brown, with lighter gray or yellow underbellies. They lack hind limbs and have external gills which they retain throughout their lives.

These animals are nocturnal and spend the day under rocks or burrowed in mud or thick vegetation. At night they hunt for insects, snails and other invertebrates.

The Greater Siren’s adult size ranges from 20 – 35 inches long while the Lesser Siren reaches about 20 – 25 inches.

Did you know?

While sirens usually burrow in mud in the bottom of marshes and streams or hide among water plants, they occasionally venture on to dry land for short periods of time. Unlike most salamanders, some species of siren can vocalize when they are out of the water. They make a soft yelping or squeaking sound.

Axolotl

Axolotl

Where in the world?

Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco and surrounding wetlands.

 

Animal Facts:

Also called Mexican Salamanders or Mexican Walking Fish, Axolotls are salamanders, not fish! They are closely related to the Tiger Salamander in the western United States and Spotted Salamander in the eastern States.

Axolotls are carnivores, eating mollusks, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans and some small fish.

Axolotls exhibit paedomorphism, meaning they reach maturity while retaining juvenile traits. As they grow, these salamanders develop legs and lose the fin on their tails, but they retain their gills. This halfway metamorphosis prevents Axolotls from ever leaving the water like usual salamanders.

Did you know?

The natural habitat of the Axolotl has greatly diminished over the years. Wild individuals are now only found in Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco and surrounding wetlands. In captivity, Axolotls are studied for their regenerative capabilities and are kept as pets.

Tiger Salamander

Tiger Salamander

Where in the world?

A variety of habitats across temperate North America.

 

Animal Facts:

Adult Tiger Salamanders are some of the largest terrestrial, or land-dweller salamanders, averaging 6-8 inches in length.  Males are usually larger and have longer tails than females.

Tiger Salamanders are considered a type of Mole Salamander, as they spend most of the time in underground burrows.  Unlike other species that use burrows created be other animals, Tiger Salamanders may dig their own.

At night, Tiger Salamanders leave their burrows to eat mostly invertebrates like insects and worms, as well as small vertebrates such as larvae of frogs or other salamanders.

Did you know?

Salamanders are amphibians with three life stages: the egg hatches into an aquatic juvenile with feathery external gills and no legs, then the juvenile develops legs and lungs, loses its gills, and usually lives on land.  Sometimes Tiger Salamanders pause halfway through their metamorphosis and can be found with both legs and external gills!

Colorado River Toad

Colorado River Toad

Where in the world?

Desert and semi-arid regions in the Sonoran Desert of southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico.

 

Animal Facts:

Also called Sonoran Desert Toads, these toads are the largest native to the United States. They can grow about 7.5 inches long.

Colorado River Toads are semi-aquatic and are found in or near water sources. During dry seasons, they dwell in rodent burrows and may go into a state of dormancy.

These toads eat anything they can capture. Their diet is mainly invertebrates, but they have been known to consume lizards, mice and other toads.

Did you know?

The large glands behind the eyes are called paratoid glands and they secrete defensive toxins. The toxins of the Colorado River Toad cause nausea and even death when ingested by predators such as dogs.

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