Animals like frogs and turtles are waiting out winter by submerging or freezing. As spring temperatures rise and their prey becomes active, reptiles and amphibians will make use of small pools of melt water called vernal pools. These temporary pools are the breeding grounds and also the feeding grounds for many animals. As the spring season progresses, the water will evaporate or seep into the thawed soil. Those animals that used the vernal pond will have moved on to their adult or summer habitat.
Viewer Tip: Because these ponds fill from melt water, whatever substances were mixed with the snow and ice will enter the pond. This can have an impact on the health and development of sensitive animals like frogs. Remember that everything you put on your sidewalk, lawn or car goes somewhere. Minimize the use of salt, solvents, fertilizers and pesticides, especially during the spring thaw. And listen for the sounds of frogs singing their way into spring!
For more weather and environment tips, visit Earth Gauge!
This information is provided by Great Lakes Aquarium. Image courtesy of EPA.