Naturalist’s Corner – Amphibians in Winter!

Naturalist’s Corner – Amphibians in Winter!

Posted February 5, 2020

Written by Kyla Isakson

Photo of an American Toad

When the weather gets colder, some animals hide away and rest for the winter. Before finding a warm place to rest, animals eat large amounts of food to store as fat. They can use this stored fat as an energy reserve to keep themselves warm. Once they settle down for the winter, they lower their body temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate to reduce excess energy use.

To prepare for winter, amphibians will bury themselves in the mud at the bottom of ponds or hide under logs or in burrows. Some frogs can drop their heart rates so low that their hearts practically stop completely. Wood frogs and spring peepers can freeze partially solid because they have an antifreeze type chemical in their blood. Winter is a time to slow down for many animals, and amphibians definitely take advantage of this time of rest.

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