Chytrid and Photos

This past weekend has been pretty busy!  We went to the Brewer’s game on Friday night, helped Steve’s sister move into an apartment on Saturday and then Sunday, we went to the State Fair and had Steve’s friend Evan over!  First off, here is a picture of one of my favorite animals at the fair.

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The bunnies were so cute!

Below is a photo of one of my Tarapoto’s. I snapped this picture on Friday night and I thought it turned out pretty good.

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Below are some updated pictures of my tadpoles!  On the last picture you can see the tadpoles tiny tiny back nubs starting to form!  Sorry about the mess in the water, I had fed them before I took the picture.    Soon enough they will have all their legs and be ready to get on land!

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One of Steve’s high school friends – Evan – is studying chytrid in chorus frogs for his schooling.  He is currently out in Arizona for school so we haven’t seen him very much.  He finally stopped by for a visit to the frog room so he could see the frogs in person.

Chytrid is a fungus that affects many animals.  However, the strain he is studying only affects frogs.  Chytrid affects the top couple layers of amphibian skin and is mostly contracted from the ponds that the frogs live in.   However, the chorus frogs living in Arizona are able to breed before the chytrid kills them, which allows the chorus frog population to remain relatively stable.  Tadpoles, due to the high temperature of the water in the pond they are living and the lack of skin that the fungus likes, are normally able to live through the disease into froglet stage.  Many frog species have not been so lucky and are dying and becoming extinct due to this fungus.

Each year during the mating season, Evan goes out and searches for some new chorus frogs to catch and study back in his lab.  Steve and I decided that we are going to have to go visit him and help him try to catch some frogs.  It sounded like a lot of fun, although from what Evan was saying they are rather hard to catch due to their small size and mud color.  Below is a photo that I found on herpnet.net of the chorus frog.

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It was very interesting to hear all about what he has been up to and catch up with him.  I was surprised to hear how hard the chytrid fungus was to keep alive in a lab, but yet it is so very hard to rid frogs of the fungus once they have it.  Hopefully Evan’s research will one day lead to this fungus having less of an impact on frogs and the ecosystems they live in.

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