The study of amphibians in science class was enhanced by perfect weather….namely, rain, drizzle, and cool temperatures.
Our vernal pool was found to have more egg masses of Spotted Salamanders and Wood Frogs than ever before! Some of the Wood Frog tadpoles are being used in the classroom to study embryology and metamorphosis.
Further fieldwork turned up both color phases of the Red-backed Salamander…and more Two-lined Salamanders in Varnum Brook (the brook itself) than we have previously recorded either. Both of these salamanders belong to an unusual salamander family, the Plethodontidae, that is lungless and whose eggs undergo metamorphosis right in the egg, skipping the tadpole phase! No need to travel to the tropics to study this cool kind of biology….it’s right on our campus!
Nevertheless, students may agree that the highlight of their fieldwork was watching Mr. Pineda fall into the mud!