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Different Species of Frogs Adopt Different Jumps Based on Environment

First Posted: Jul 04, 2014 07:07 AM EDT

A team of Australian researchers has discovered that different species of frogs adopt different styles of jumps based on their environment.

Frogs are known to have a striking Olympian ability to leap huge distances.  But these jumps assume myriad forms based on the surroundings that the frogs dwell in.

 In a new fining, researcher Marta Vidal-Garcia, PhD, from the Australian National University, discovered that different species of frogs have different jumping styles that are based on their surrounding environment. It was seen that tree frogs reach great heights but do not cover the same distance with their jumps. On the other hand, the leap of aquatic frogs is long but is done close to the ground. The frogs with jumps low in both height and distance are burrowing frogs.

The researcher used high speed video cameras to  film the jumps. They filmed 230 wild frogs of 30 different species. They caught the frogs and then filmed their jumps in a field that had two high-speed cameras that helped capture the three-dimensional view of the frog jumps.

"We searched actively for the frogs at night after heavy rains during their breeding season, as they are more likely to be active",  Vidal-Garcia said.

The researchers analyzed the videos frame by frame using computer software and factoring various variables including height, distance and speed. All these variables were measured. They noticed that frogs from various habitats had distinct jumps.

Burrowing frogs have very squat bodies and short limbs', explained  Vidal-Garcia. "This is because they tend to occupy arid environments so this helps to minimise water loss through their permeable skin. The aquatic frogs, however, have more streamlined bodies with longer limbs to improve swimming ability."

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