19 Feb 2009

Frozen Frogs

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 19 February 2009


An adult female brown tree frog, or whistling frog. Image: Kalinka Rexer-Huber

Brown tree frogs, also known as whistling frogs, have a special claim to fame: they are the only vertebrates in the Southern Hemisphere able to completely freeze solid, and survive. University of Otago frog researcher Phil Bishop discovered this ability accidentally, and Master of Science student Kalinka Rexer-Huber is now investigating what temperatures the frogs can tolerate, and how they manage the remarkable trick of freezing and thawing.

2 Pictured on the left is a frozen brown tree frog, whose body temperature is being monitored (image: J Germano).

For more information on this and many more aspects of frog research and conservation visit NZ Frogs.