Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Challenges Belief That Tree Frogs Depress Metabolic Rate After 'Waxing' Themselves

Date:
October 30, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Researchers from the University of Florida explore wiping behaviours in a tree frog that waxes itself, and test whether these frogs become dormant to conserve energy during dehydration. Many amphibians have skin that offers little resistance to evaporative water loss. To compensate, these and some other arboreal frogs secrete lipids and then use an elaborate series of wiping motions to rub the waxy secretions over their entire bodies.

The researchers found that waxed and inactive frogs had about the same metabolic rate as unwaxed, dehydrating frogs. This suggests that waxed frogs are not in a hibernation-like dormant state, as was previously thought.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Jason Ortega

In a fascinating new study from the November/December 2006 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, researchers from the University of Florida explore wiping behaviours in a tree frog that waxes itself, and test whether these frogs become dormant to conserve energy during dehydration. Many amphibians have skin that offers little resistance to evaporative water loss. To compensate, these and some other arboreal frogs secrete lipids and then use an elaborate series of wiping motions to rub the waxy secretions over their entire bodies.

"This self-wiping is a complex behaviour involving the use of all four limbs to stroke or rub all dorsal and ventral body surfaces, including the limbs," explains Nadia A. Gomez (University of Florida, Gainesville) and her coauthors. They continue: "Thus, the animal is protected from dehydration, provided the external film of lipids is not physically disrupted by movements or other disturbance."

Tree frogs characteristically go into a resting posture after wiping themselves, tucking their limbs tightly against or beneath their body and closing their eyes. The researchers found that this series of actions following "waxing" allows tree frogs (Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis) to limit rates of surface evaporation to as little as 4 percent of that from a free water surface in the same environment.

To examine the question of dormancy, the researchers found that waxed and inactive frogs had about the same metabolic rate as unwaxed, dehydrating frogs. This suggests that waxed frogs are not in a hibernation-like dormant state, as was previously thought. (Some frogs, however, showed moderate reductions of metabolic rate as dehydration advanced, suggesting that they might become dormant during, for example, a prolonged drought.)

"Our data do not provide strong evidence that P. hypochondrialis routinely depress metabolic rates and enter a deep dormant state during quiescent behaviours following wiping," explain the authors. "Moreover, quiescent Phyllomedusa remain responsive to [the] presence of insects and eat readily."

Since 1928, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology has presented original, current research in environmental, adaptational, and comparative physiology and biochemistry.

Nadia A. Gomez, Michelle Acosta, Frederic Zaidan III, and Harvey B. Lillywhite. "Wiping Behavior, Skin Resistance, and the Metabolic Response to Dehydration in the Arboreal Frog Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis." Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 79:6.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Study Challenges Belief That Tree Frogs Depress Metabolic Rate After 'Waxing' Themselves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084659.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, October 30). Study Challenges Belief That Tree Frogs Depress Metabolic Rate After 'Waxing' Themselves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084659.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Study Challenges Belief That Tree Frogs Depress Metabolic Rate After 'Waxing' Themselves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084659.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins