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Ozark Nocturne

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Published on: Mar. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

The calling of tree frogs is announcement that summer has come to Missouri. Tree frogs have sticky toe pads, called adhesive disks, which enable them to climb trees. They can also cling to glass and other smooth surfaces, often showing up on patio windows or sliding glass doors. Amphibians were the first vertebrates to develop a voice. Both frogs and toads vociferate with their mouths tightly shut, but none so enthusiastically as the ambitious treefrog.

Frogs are cold blooded; their blood is the temperature of the world around them. They are carnivorous, and use their sticky tongue to capture insects, earthworms and spiders. They are also an important link in the food chair, providing a source of nourishment to snakes, birds, raccoons and other predators. Scientists, alarmed that frog numbers may be decreasing, are showing new interest in studying them.

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