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Amphibians | TWRA

These amphibious critters are known for a variety of magical properties, from their ability to help predict the weather, to curing warts to bringing good luck. In parts of Appalachia, it is believed that if you hear a frog croaking exactly at midnight, it means rain is on the way. Live frogs appear in a number of folk cures.

A tiny angry squeaking Frog 🐸 - Super Cute Animals - BBC

It is believed that putting a live frog in your mouth will cure thrush, and that swallowing live frogs — presumably small ones — can cure whooping cough and tuberculosis. Rubbing a live frog or toad on a wart will cure the wart, but only if you impale the frog on a tree and let him die. The Maori people believe that killing a frog can bring floods and heavy rains, but some African tribes say that the death of a frog will bring drought.

For the ancient Egyptians , the frog-headed goddess Hekt was a symbol of fertility and birth.

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If you wish to conceive, touch a frog. The association of the frog with fertility has its root in science — each year, when the Nile river flooded its banks, frogs were everywhere. The annual flooding of the delta meant rich soil and strong crops — so the croaking of millions of frogs may well have been an indicator that farmers would have an abundant season. Frogs have only been in Ireland for a few hundred years, since students from Trinity College released them into the wild. However, there are still some frog folktales in Ireland, including that you can tell the weather by the color of a frog.

The Frog That Got Caught in the Crossfire of a Rocket Launch

In the Book of Exodus , the following verse details how frogs were sent to frighten the people of Egypt into rejecting their old gods:. Oh, and when Shakespeare's witches call for a bit of toe of frog?

Not related to frogs at all! Like many members of the buttercup family, this particular species is considered toxic, and can cause skin inflammations.

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The Victorians associated it with selfishness and ingratitude. In some traditions, frogs are associated with cleansing and rebirth - think, for a moment, about how a tadpole transforms into a frog. Worse yet, the scientists found that species currently classified as "endangered," "vulnerable" or "near threatened" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were declining much faster, at an average of Species listed as "least concern" on the Red List were declining at a slightly slower-than-average rate of just 2. The researchers did not look at specific causes of death—although past experience tells us amphibians suffer from habitat loss, climate change, pollution, invasive species and the deadly chytrid fungus.

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But they did discover that populations dwindled throughout the country, even in national parks and wildlife refuges that are supposedly protected for conservation purposes. A FAQ published in conjunction with the study explains why the drop in amphibian species matters: "[Amphibians] control pests, inspire new medicines, feed other animals and help make ecosystems work. They are inherently valued by people of all ages—watching tadpoles and listening to frog calls are some of the most accessible interactions we have with the natural world.

The study was conducted under the auspices of the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative , which was established by congressional mandate in to monitor, research and conserve the country's amphibian populations. The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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John R. Platt is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications.

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His "Extinction Countdown" column has run continuously since and has covered news and science related to more than 1, endangered species. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore. You have free article s left.