New Science Discoveries: Animal Instincts

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One thing scientists just know is that many types of animals rely on their instincts to make their way in the big world. You might remember our picture book, They Just Know by Robin Yardi and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein that comically compares how different animal moms are from our human moms.

Amphibians are one of these creatures that leave their young tadpoles giving them very little care, but two scientists from Boston University have discovered that one frog mom may be around for longer than once thought.

The duo observed glass frogs in several countries and found that these frog moms lingered over their eggs for a few hours pressing their bellies into them hydrating the eggs and creating a slime of protection. Then dad takes on the job of shooing away spiders and rehydrating the eggs.

This is the first time this type of behavior has been observed, and researcher Jessie Delia noted, “The pattern we found is completely bizarre.”

Glass frogs are small frogs, and mostly green but have transparent skin on their bellies. Giving them the appearance of glass skin. They lay their eggs on leaves near streams and as they hatch the tadpoles drop right into the stream.

If you want to learn more about the study, read more about it here.

Also, check out these great books about frogs and animal instincts.

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