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Strange Habits of Australian Frogs (1939)

Strange Habits of Australian Frogs (1939)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Sydney Morning Herald 1939 (June 12)
Sydney Morning Herald 1939 (June 12)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Feb 10, 2013
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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Monday 12 June 1939, page 13National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17613768
OUTDOORAUSTRALIA
Some
Curious
Habits
of
Frogs
and
Toads
Mimicry
MOST
of
usare
familiar
with
the
"morepork,"
"morepork"
of
bullfrogs,especiallyafterrain,
but
howfew
areaware
thatsomeof
our
Australian
frogs
havethepowerof
mimicking
thesoundsofother
animals,
andthat
one
speciesin
Queens-land
hasbeenheardto
give
thecallof
the
silvergull?Oneofthemostharmoniousof
frog
chorusesisthat
givenby
thegreenand
golden
bellspecies,
Whofrequent
swampyand-riverareas,and
can
be
heard
"kreking"
inmanydifferingnotes
duringthenight
time.
Perhaps
itis
when
a
frog
is
hurt
that
we
realise
just
how
itcan
givevoiceapart
from
the
common
croak.Nexttothe
pathetic
cryof
an
injured
nativebearthere
isnomore
forlornsoundthanthatof
an
injuredfrog
crying,and
this,
whether
it
has
been
caught
and
is
abouttobeswallowed
by
a
goanna
or
accidentally
injuredty
man.
Iremember
a
friend
leaving
thehouse
oneeven-
ing
and
pulling
thedoor
quickly
behind
him,
with
the
resultthat
a
frog
was
caught
between
the
door
and
thewall,Thealmosthumancryof
pain
which
came
fromthe
frog
sent
us
all
hurry-ing
out,
thinking
that
our
friendhad
caught
hisfinger
or
handinthedoor.-E.GrantSwan.
Homers
ALTHOUGH
theclaimthat
frogs
can
become
remarkably
tameistruein
a
sense,I
am
convinced
thatthis"tameness"
is
more
of
an
attachment
to
place
thantoperson.Awell-known
Sydney
artisttold
me
how,
some
yearsago,whenhiswife
was
staying
at
a
Queens-
land
homestead,
she
saw
herhostess
tie
a
piece
ofredwoolto
a
legofeachofthreefrogs.Thefrogs
were
then
transported
to
a
swamp
about
a
milefromthe
house,
but,within
a
week,
allwere
back
attheiroldquarters.
.
Now
comes
the
experience
of
a
Queensland
far-
mer
whosepet
aversion,
a
frog,made
regularly
forhis
shaving
mug
as
its
daytime
home.After
throwing
it
outtimeafter
time,
hemade
acrossonIts
backwithhisrazor,
and,
tossing
it
intohis
cart,finallyleftit
some
threemilesfromhisfarm.A
fortnight
laterthe
frog
was
backinhis
shaving
mug.-"Fernberg."
WE
had
a
frog,
a
regulargrandfather
In
size,
whoforyearstookhis
nightlybath
inthe
dog'sdrinking
dish.
Leaving
thehouse
empty
for
some
months,
on
the
first
evening
of
our
thefor
some
months,
on
the
our
return
we
found
froggle
sittinginthe
empty
dish.
Keeping
a
watch
on
him,
we
foundthat,next
evening,
hehadhis
dip
inthebirds'bathin
thegarden,
thenmadeforhis
old-time
place,thedog'sdish.
:
A-friend,
a
keennaturalist,had
a
frogabouthisplacewhich
heclaimed
was
really
attached
to
him,
but,alas,whenhemovedhisresidenceandtook
thefrog
withhim
it
madebacktoits
old
home.This
was
proved
tobecorrect
when
a
piece
ofstring
was
tiedto
the
frog's
leg,
and,
takenawayfor
the
second
time,
It
again
madeback
to'its
early
haunt.-"Highlands."
A
LARGEgreen
tree-frogtookup
its
abodein
a
pot-plant
on
theverandah.
Owing
totheraucous,calf-likebellows
it
emitted
atfartoo
frequent
intervals,
we
decidedtogive
it
march-
ing
orders.A
waterhole
a
miledistant
seemed
a
safe
enough
place.We
had
peaceforjustthreenights,then
louder
and
heartier
than
ever
froggleannouncedhisjoy
at
being
home
once
more!-I.C.deM.
APermanentGuest
FROGS
are
usually
referredto
as
cold-blooded,
.unintelligentcreatures,but
our
pet
"Hector"
seems
tobe
an
exception.Severalmonths
ago
he
was
discovered
behind
a
photograph
onour
sideboard.
All
attempts
to
dislodge
himper-
manently
were
invain.Sincethenhehasbecome
a
permanent
"guest."
With
the
exception
ofoccasional
nocturnal
visits
tothe
garden,
Hector
never
appearsto
move.
So
tamehashe
become,
thatheallowshimselftobeliftedupanddusted
under,without
any
attempt
to
spring
away.
During
thehot
weather
we
missedhimfor
a
few
days.
After
a
longsearch
he
was
found
swimming
in
a
glass
vase
amongst
theflowers.After
severalattempts
we
emptied
himintothe
garden,thinking
thathewouldreturntothegully
a
fewhundred
yards
off.
The
followingmorning,however,
Hector
was
back
on
theside-
board.-"Red
Camel."
From
theSkies
TWO
instancesoffrogsfallingfromtheskieshavebeennotedinthe
past
fewmonths.Aviolentstormthat
fell
betweenCoombabanCi-fek
 
AN
ADORNMENT
OFTHE
WATER-LILYPOND.
THETREE-FROGHifeet
are
equipped
withsoftroundtoesuckerstoenable
it
loclimband
Southpoit(Queensland)showered
frogs
on
tothemainload
Many
measured
overan
inchin
length
and
hopped
awayinto
neaiby
grassA
passingmotoiistMeed
the
roadway
stiewnwiththemTheNewSouthWalesNoith
Coastaltownship
of
Ewingsdalewitnessed
a
"fiog-stoim."
Scoiesofthe
amphibians
came
downintherain
Live
specimens
were
taken
off
a
car
windscreen
on
towhich
they
dropped
Thesealso
measured
overan
inch
by
rulei,and
werecream
and
black
in
colour-'Kooraka"
A
RatMeal
THE
othei
day
MisEJ
Bonnell,
ofthe
Cooroy
alstiict
(Queensland),
was
attracted
tothegaielen
by
the
squeaks
of
a
ratShecalledherfather,
andthey
loundthat
a
largegreenfrog
was
intheactof
swallowing
a
small
íatTherodentstruggled,andbitviciouslyat
thebody
andlimbsofhiscaptor,but
allin
vain,forthefrog,
bystanding
onits
front
legs,was
able
slowly
to
consume
theratAfter
its
meal,
thefrog,whichthen
presented
a
bloatedappearance
satquite
happy,andstayed
inthegaidenfoitwo
days
There
is
no
doubtthatfiogs
can
swallow
laige
and
curious
living
objects
Thewnteihas
«=een
frogsswallow
little
snakes
entirely,butforevery
fiog
thatdoesthishundred*havebeenswallowed
bvsnakes-"Cooi
"
ChangeofSex
AROUND
Tully
and
various
other
sugarcane
districtsof
Queensland
giant
toadsmay
now
beheard
balking
almost
nightly
Thesetoads
weic
intioducedfrom
Hawaii
toact
as
controlleroftheinsectpestsinthecanefieldsWht>nlibeiatedmaiks
were
placed
on
a
numberofthemtoenableobservationstobemadeThelesult
is
interesting
nine
maikedfeimles
pro-
ducing
on
one
morning
no
fewerthan125000eggsA
cuiious
point
in
connection
withthese
impor-
ted
toads
is
that
a
numberofthemaleshave
changed
their
sex
developing
intofemalesIneachyoungtoad
is
an
internaloiganknown
as
the
'
bidders
"
This
change
ofsex,althoughthe
cause
hasnotyet
beenestablished
isKnown
tobebiouchtabout
by
a
disturbance
ofthe"biddeis"which
causes
a
giadualrevetting
fiommaletofemale-EGiantST
an
TheGolden
Bell
THE
golden
bell-fiog
v>hichhas
beenaccusedof
destroying
ti
outfiy,
is
a
handsomespeci-
men
with
maibledpatterns
ofgieen
andgold
I
It
is
only
inits
natural
sunoundings
however,
that
it
can
be
seen
to
advantage
for
init
the
flog's
chameleon-likepowerofchanging
colourtomatchthe
smioundmgs
ieachej¡
its
hiehest
efficiencyAtthewatei
s
ed?e
imongthepreengrassbladesand
patches
of
goldensunlight
one
ofthese

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