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Frogs & Toads
Small seasonal ponds like this one often become nurseries for amphibians like the Western Tree Frog.
In a few short weeks these tiny tadpoles will become full-grown frogs.
Tadpoles evolve quickly. This one is changing color and has developed hind legs.
Soon it has all four legs and surfaces frequently to gulp air to develop and strengthen its lungs.
Then one day it leaves the pond to begin its life on land.
Western Tree Frogs have many natural enemies so concealment is their best defense.
The skin color of the Western Tree Frog adapts to best match its habitat.
This frog has left its creek-side habitat for the forest and is changing its skin color.
Snakes, raccoons, opossums, skunks, crows, ravens, herons all prey on Tree Frogs.
To avoid summer heat, tree frogs take refuge in dark, damp places underground.
Nearly invisible on the dark forest floor, the color of this tree frog is almost jewel like.
Unless it moves, predators (and humans) aren't likely to see it.
Watch for Western Tree Frogs and other amphibians near creeks and stock ponds.
Unfortunately, another amphibian found in stock ponds is the non-native Bull Frog (this one's a juvenal).
Bull Frogs are voracious predators that devour tadpoles, newt larval, and baby frogs.
They also gobble up fish smaller than themselves and baby waterbirds.
This Western Toad begins life as a tadpole too, before it evolves to live the rest of its life on land.
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