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Name: Barbara
Status: educator
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 9/23/2004


Question:
Some of my 4th grade students want to know if frogs ever hibernate in the summer? I suspect the students have observed frogs burying themselves in summer in order to cool-off or keep moist.


Replies:
Frog activity is based upon the temperature of their surroundings. Frogs are heterothermic; this means their body is the temperature of the environment for which they live. If the temperature is warm as it is in the summer, frogs will not hybernate, but may bury themselves for protection or to rest. They can breathe threw their skin, so periods of time in the mud is not an issue.

During the fall when a certain low temperature is reached, this triggers the behavior for the frog to bury itself and begin hibernation. The warming of the mud in the spring activates the ending of hibernation.

Steve Sample
zoologist


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