By Barbara Walvoord
Originally published in the Lathrop Lamp Post Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, 2018
For our Lathrop creatures, it’s good to have babies as soon in the new year as possible, so the babies can grow big and strong during the summer. But problem: if a baby is born now, how do you keep it warm and fed in a Massachusetts winter? Some of our Lathrop creatures have to wait for warmer weather, but some have solved the problem and are having their babies right now.
Our birds have to wait for warmer weather so they can keep the eggs and chicks warm in a mud-and-grass nest. Frogs don’t have to care for their young, but they can’t hop to a pond, mate, and lay eggs until the water, and their own bodies, warm up in spring. Continue reading January Babies
by Barbara Walvoord
(Originally printed in Lathrop Lamp Post May 27 – Jun 2, 2017)
If you walk along the edges of one of our Lathrop streams or ponds these days, frogs may plop into the water at your approach. You may hear the “jug-a-rum” of the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianos) or the “gunk” of the green frog (Lithobates clamatans), like this one found by several residents who were pulling invasive plants near the east campus Teaberry pond.
You can tell our frog is a green frog by its greenish color and by the ridges that run down each side of its back. You can tell our Teaberry frog is a male because its tympanum or eardrum, located just behind the eye, is larger than the eye. At this time of the year, our male is probably defending the pond as his territory. He mates between April and August, clasping his lady love from behind, and fertilizing her thousands of eggs as she lays them in the pond water.
Continue reading It’s Easy Being Green at Lathrop