The Incredible Freezing Frog (Well, One Of Them)
Sometimes you come across an animal or plant that has an ability or behaviour that just BLOWS YOUR MIND. (Actually, this happens to me all the time. Especially while watching Planet Earth. Anyone else?) Grey Treefrogs are one of those species that has some astounding characteristics. First of all, they can change colour according to their environment, which is an ability that wins me over every time. But perhaps even more outrageous, is that Gray Treefrogs actually FREEZE during the winter months! Some other frog species also possess this trait, and it's truly unbelievable.
PSA: The frogs in these photos are not frozen.
So wait, how does it work? Basically, Grey Treefrogs produce glycerol, which is then converted to glucose. Glucose acts like antifreeze, preventing ice crystals from forming in the frog's cells. This prevents cell damage, which would lead to a frog's death. The rest of the frog's body, including water and blood, freezes! Even more unbelievable, the frog's heart actually stops beating, and the frog stops breathing for the winter. When the warmer weather returns, the frog's body "thaws" and it returns to daily life!
Seriously though guys, how cool is that??!!
What's more, these little cuties are super charismatic. Just look at that face! Can someone say #CharasmaticMicrofauna?