Friday, August 29, 2014

A Puzzle you'll have to Work at..."

Actually... TWO WINNERS!!!


BOY HOWDY! When we said we made our puzzle tough, we were not kidding! Out of the responses we got with answers, WE HAD ONLY TWO who gave THE CORRECT ANSWER:
"Mercennarium", Latin for "Wage Earner", (...alluding to someone who would enjoy a Labor Day Holiday)
SO... instead of trying to decide the winner... the boss decided to award TWO JEWEL ALL IN ONE KITS to the two entries who answered (and spelled) correctly the mystery word.
Congratulations goes to Amanda Sowers & Lyzabeth Miller, for both answering correctly! WE'LL BE IN TOUCH VIA EMAIL.
We'd like to thank EVERYONE who participated! Look for more puzzles with prizes (as soon as we can figure them out ourselves) soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School Special Returns

Indeed... it's that time again. Time for chalk dust & pencil shavings, backpacks & 500 word essays on the Reformation due by Tuesday.... time to go Back To School!
But it's not all having to beat that second bell for class... there's great savings to be had too. Like $3.99 OFF any EcoAquarium purchase... or ANY purchase from our webstore greater than $22!
That's like a free's better than a WHOLE YEAR of free lunches and dinners for your frogs.
Order an EcoAquarium, toss in a year's supply of Frog Food, then use the "Back2School" coupon. PRESTO! $3.99 comes off your order!
HURRY NOW! Our Back to School Special ends Sep.30th.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Peterson Farm Bros Reap a Great Harvest in Parody

It's not often farming gets in the cultural spotlight. That's why it's refreshing to see three brothers on a Kansas farm grow a huge fan base following on youtube, with their parodies of popular songs.The Peterson Farm Bros video page draws millions of views of their well produced parody videos which are just as tasty as the beef they produce.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Freaky Friday Foto: The Milk Frog

Unless you are lactose intolerant, you will love this croaker...
No it’s not just the color which gives them their name, but it’s the milk-like poisonous fluid excretion released from them when they are stressed or threatened. They are native to Amazon rainforest and were first discovered in Brazil’s Maracana River. They are famously known as Amazon milk frog.
They are fairly large frogs, reaching up to 2.5- 4 inches. Females are startlingly larger than males. They are greyish in color blended with black banding. During their early stage of life, they have soft and supple skin, but with age they start developing bumpy texture and the grey color slowly metamorphoses to silvery white. Their mouths are tinted with blue, as if it’s chewing a mint; therefore they are also known as blue milk frogs. The milk excretion helps them deter predators and also help them to be hydrated. READ MORE

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Frog Calls

The great folks at the University of Michigan has set up a really neat website for those of us who love frogs.
Ever heard the sound of the Poison Dart Frog? Here's your chance! Check out their Frog Calls page. You'll find sound clips of Mr. Dendrobates auratus, and many more, with links to further information for each. This is a great webpage to refer to when you hear the sounds of frogs in the night. You'll know in flash what frog is singing, and a whole lot more! Check it out & GIVE A LISTEN!

This brand new species of tree frog is already in trouble

Boophis ankarafensis, a new species of tree frog in Madagascar. (Gonçal
Washington Post Article
Tree frogs are adorable, so let’s have some more: In a study published in open-access journal ZooKeys, researchers describe a new species called Boophis ankarafensis. Unfortunately, it's in danger of losing its habitat.
Green with red speckles, the species looks quite similar to its closest relatives in the habitat – the banks of two streams in the Ankarafa Forest of Madagascar. But in addition to a large genetic divergence (one of more than 4.9 percent, based on analyzed gene fragments) the little frogs have one big distinction: Their call. (READ MORE)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Freaky Friday Foto: The PACMAN Frog

Sporting a mouth as big as the great out doors, meet Ceratophrys, AKA The South American Horned Frog or...(drum roll)... The PACMAN Frog!
These big mouth frogs are voracious eaters, often eating insects, small mammals (such as mice), fish, other frogs, and small reptiles. A fully grown female Argentine Horned Frog (females are generally larger than males) can easily eat a grown rat. Also known to be cannibalistic, and have been known to eat their mates. Although these frogs can swallow animals almost half their size, they sometimes attempt to eat things larger than they are. A row of sharp bony projections in their upper jaw makes it nearly impossible for them to release prey after taking it in their mouth, in some cases leading to death by choking. Count all your fingers & toes if ever you get around one of these guys, just in case.

Freaky Friday: AugDEmented Reality

If this isn't perfect Freaky Friday material, I don't know what is...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy World Lion Day

Conservationist Kevin Richardson, also known as the Lion Whisperer, wanted to film a PSA about lion conservation for World Lion Day on Aug. 10., but his companion proves what WC Fields once said... "Never work with kids or animals."

A World Unto Thier Own

We get questions from time to time, asking why we don't offer EcoAquariums with fish & frogs together, and why we advise against keeping fish & frogs together in a standard Aquarium setting. While African Dwarf Frogs are a popular addition to freshwater aquariums, it's not always a good thing for either the fish, or the frogs.

Too often, the choices of what species are together in a tank, is determined by owners preferences, often whether a fish is pretty or cute or even how "happy" a critter seems when seen in a pet
Oooo! There's one that matches the wall paint!
shop tank.
  Unfortunately, a tank owners personal preferences is the WORST yardstick to use. The compatibility of different species should ALWAYS be considered over anything else. Always consider the type of fish species indigenous to the natural habitat of the frog... In other words, if you have African Dwarf Frogs, ALWAYS choose the species of tropical fish that are also indigenous to West African rain forests over all others.  Why?

Because eons of evolution has naturally selected fish & frog species to tolerate diseases carried by each species, who have evolved together in the same regional environment. A frog evolved in West African Rain forests, may not have tolerances of disease vectors carried by tropical fish from South East Asia or elsewhere. 
Hey! This oriental food is pretty tasty!
Equally important, is natural behavioral traits of each species, imprinted by location and circumstance, which are now instinctive.  While species may have naturally tolerant behavior regardless of where it evolved, some may have behaviors that will clash or compete with a foreign species, all because of where each species evolved from, and the environment each evolved in.

 Regardless if animals are bred in captivity or in the wild, evolutionary behaviors & physical tolerances do not radically change. Disease susceptibilities within a species still reside, whether bred in the wild or in captivity,  & there are cases where the presence of a foreign species can actually create susceptibilities which would normally not be present.

Bloat, (Dropsy) is a good example.  There's still no conclusive reason why ADF's lymph nodes are triggered to overproduce lymph fluid. Some suspect a reaction to a common bacterium, often found within the skin layer of tubal worms, like blood worms. Yet exposure to this bacteria in nature seldom shows ill effects. Bloat is not a common disease in nature, not near as common as it is in aquariums. However, there's evidence that ADF's sharing an aquarium habitat with fish, have a higher susceptibility rate than do ADF's who do not. One conclusion would be that something common with some fish species may tie in with exposure to the bacterium, which normally would not pose a problem, since intermingling to such species would never happen in the wild.  Another conclusion may be environmental factors, common within a fish friendly habitat, such as higher dissolved oxygen content in the water, can cause abnormal susceptibilities in African Dwarf Frogs, or a more tolerable environment for the bacterium to thrive & concentrate.
Remember, frogs can coexist with fish in an environment tolerable for fish, yet in a natural environment of extreme acidic, nitrate high, & low oxygenated water, fish are not a common species to co-exist with these frogs. Most fish cannot tolerate water conditions these frogs would call home. It's entirely the reason that in a more pristine aquatic world of a freshwater aquarium, species of fish & frogs which naturally never be together do intermingle, and present possibilities that never would happen in the wild.
These are the reasons we run contrary to conventional wisdom, and advise keeping fish & frogs separate in a aquarium environment. Doing so allows maintaining a tank ecology most suited to the needs of a species, while keeping the likelihood of cross species contamination & behavior conflicts totally eliminated. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Freaky Friday Foto: Mexican Burrowing Toad

Kicking off a new feature to the blog, The Freaky Friday Froggy Foto! Our first photo is not of a frog, but a TOAD! A Mexican Burrowing Toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis) . While it could be the poster child for a weight loss clinic, the Mexican Burrowing Toad only puffs itself up when threatened. Find out more here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why not a Frog Instead of a Mouse?

While searching the internet for any topic which featured a frog... (no kidding!)... we stumbled across old cartoons of "Flip the Frog" drawn by U.B. Iwerks. Anyone who knows animation history knows of U.B. Iwerks, the man responsible for the distinctive style of the earliest Disney cartoons. U.B Iwerks was also responsible for creating Mickey Mouse.
U.B. Iwerks drawing Mickey

Flip the Frog was Iwerks second most famous cartoon character. He appeared in the time when Iwerks started his own cartoon production company after a falling out between him & Walt Disney.

Despite a contract deal with MGM to produce cartoon comedy shorts, Flip the Frog never made a huge splash (pun intended), as Disney's Mickey Mouse, despite having the Iwerks animation magic and comedy so much a signature of early Walt Disney cartoons.

Guess lightning doesn't strike twice, and Flip the Frog has been relegated to the ash heap of animation history, a footnote in the life of a legendary pioneer of cartooning.

Still, check out Flip the Frog, in a early cinemacolor MGM short from 1930, which features Flip in a piano/violin duet, with a vaguely familiar Mouse.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What is "Smart?"

How often have you sat & watched your frog... they watching right back at you, and pondered just what is going on behind those pair of bready little eyes? You just know something is going on in there... there has to... but just what is it? What is it that determines what a little African Dwarf Frog perceives has anything to do with what we would consider as thought? Obviously, they have something... we see personalities, or what we perceive as personalities in them, or have you ever just figured that since these guys are just frogs, there's no way we can ever judge them to be intelligent?
A video of an octopus working out a escape from a boat has gone viral, and lends as an example of how something even more primitive as a frog can show some intelligence in problem solving.
So the next time you get that feeling you're being watched, and you turn around to see a pair of little frog eyes watching you. Don't be too surprised if he's sizing up you figuring out what you're working on. Maybe he can lend a hand? Heck he's smart enough to have you feed him, doesn't he?
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