The red-eyed tree frog is a small, colorful frog living in southern Mexico and Central America. Although it seems like its bright colors make it easy for predators to spot during the night when they’re active, some people think otherwise. According to the National Geographic, when predators see the bright colors, it catches their eyes. When the frog jumps away, the color stays “burned in” to the predator’s eyes for a while, making the frog look like its still there. During the day, these frogs rest with their legs folded in order to hide their bright coloring. The green on their body also helps them blend in with leaves. As adults, red-eyed tree frogs eat crickets, moths, flies, and occasionally, smaller frogs. In the wild they live for up to 5 years and grow up to 3 inches (8 cm) long, although the males live for a shorter time. They weigh around 1 ounce (28 grams) or about as much as two DVDs. During the summer, the female lays several clumps of 25-50 eggs for a total of over 200 eggs. The eggs are laid on leaves near a pond where the male then fertilizes them. About five days later, the eggs hatch and the tadpoles drop into the water. In a few weeks, the tadpoles, loose their tail, grow legs and lungs, and are ready to start their new life out of water. Although they are common where they live, their habitat is shrinking, making the still large population decrease.
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Here’s the picture of next week’s animal
- Smithsonian Handbooks Reptiles and Amphibians. Mark O’Shea and Tim Halliday, Smithsonian Institution, ISBN: 978-0-7566-6009-3
- Animals of the world. Tom Jackson, ISBN: 978-1780191089
- Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide. David Burnie and Don E. Wilson, Smithsonian Institution, ISBN: 978-0-7566-6002-4
- Coloring/activity sheet
- Red-eyed tree frog: public domain
- Mystery animal: Wikipedia user:Jonathan Zander