Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tough little critters

Meet Rana temporaria, the common frog.

As one who spent much of her childhood trying to catch frogs to keep in jars at home, I can say that they do not strike one, upon close personal acquaintance, as the sort of creature one would describe as "tough". They're pretty soft, and delicate and one would think that any little thing would send one off to froggy heaven.

But some scientists have now said that they are one of the few wildlifes to have survived the last ice age in Ireland.

Research by scientists at the Zoological Society of London and Queen Mary, University of London, suggests that so-called common frogs (Rana temporaria) on Ireland survived by hanging out in a small ice-free refuge there, while those in Britain hit the high road. Frogs from mainland Europe repopulated Britain once the Ice Age was over, about 10,000 years ago, said Amber Teacher from the ZSL, who headed up the research.

Isn't science cool?!

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