Heat brings frog spawning to California swimming pools, dog dishes

Merced Sun-StarJuly 26, 2011 

They're small, some slimy and some with warts. And they're hopping everywhere.

A flood of frogs has filled California's Lake McClure's Horseshoe Bend swimming area, taking advantage of the warm water to lay their eggs.

Toads also need water, but in the heat they end up in strange places, such as dog water dishes and kids' swimming pools, trying to find a place to cool off.

"We had a late, wet spring this year," said Andres Aguilar, assistant professor of biology at UC Merced. "Both frogs and toads need standing water for reproducing."

Since this year there was standing water, not just from winter rain but from June storms, the frogs and toads are appearing at an unusual time.

And there's a whole bunch of them out there.

Cathy Boze, agriculture commissioner for Mariposa County, said she's seen a lot of the amphibians in the county. "I had one person call me to find out how to get them out of her house," she said.

Amphibians -- cold-blooded animals with a backbone -- like frogs and toads can adapt to many habitats. Many of the species undergo a metamorphosis, changing from tiny tadpoles that need water to big toads that are terrestrial.

Read the complete story at mercedsunstar.com

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