Wonderful Wood Frogs

Woodfrog-floating

At the end of winter, just when you are thinking spring will never arrive, an ancient amphibian ritual begins to reassure us that spring is finally here. Wood frogs are an amazing amphibian that are found throughout the Washington DC area, the eastern United States, and most of Canada and Alaska all the way to the Arctic Circle.

To witness this froggie ritual, head outdoors as the days are reaching the 60 degree mark and the nights are rainy. There will be about a 2 week window when millions of adult wood frogs emerge from hibernation to sing and mate. You just need to take a walk into a wooded area where there are puddles of water, also know as vernal pools. These special pools dry up in most summers and fish are not able to live in them, so they are perfect for variety of amphibians to lay their eggs.

Male wood frog songs sound a bit like a quacking duck. As you approach a wood frog filled pool, their songs may stop, but if you sit or stand quietly, they will begin again. And it is amazing. Some pools may have hundreds of frogs right in front of you! During daytime, you will mostly see males. At dusk and nighttime, the more secretive females become active and available for all the males to court.

In just a few days, millions of gelatinous eggs will be laid by the female wood frogs. The eggs will hatch into tadpoles in about 1-4 weeks, depending on the weather and water temperature. The tadpoles will go through metamorphosis lasting about 2 months and then hop out of the pool as teeny frog-lets. The frog-lets disperse into the surrounding woodlands to feed on tiny insects and hide from predators. If they survive, they will return to the same pools as adults to repeat the cycle.

These small to medium sized, leaf colored frogs spend most of the winter buried under ground or at the bottom of vernal pools where they may actually freeze solid. It is this amazing freezing ability that has many scientists so intrigued.

Frogs are vertebrate animals. Just like people, they have muscles, bones, blood, and all the same internal organs (heart, liver, kidneys, etc…) too. This is why so many high school biology students dissect frogs, not to learn frog anatomy, but to learn human anatomy.

Wood frog anatomy is very similar to humans, just like other frogs. However, wood frogs have a very special physiology. Wood frog physiology allows ice crystals to form in their cells without rupturing the cell walls, as would happen in other vertebrate animals.  And even more amazing, when they defrost, their bodies defrost from the inside to the outside!

Scientists are studying wood frogs to learn this secret and possibly figure out how to apply this ability to humans. Imagine if we could freeze humans, keep them in frozen hibernation during long space voyages, and then defrost the space-goers with no ill effects from the freezing. Kind of like Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back!

Wood frogs are toadally wonderful!

 

 

 

 

Creature Feature: Lizard Liz

Elizabeth Thompson

2011-12-31 23.00.00-19

Animal Keeper & Wildlife Educator

Reptiles Alive Name: Lizard Liz

Hisstory: Lizard Liz grew up moving all over the country with a military family. Everywhere she lived, her favorite pastime was exploring nature and learning about animals. She went to college at the University of New Hampshire to study Wildlife Conservation. During her college career she spent her summers working as a camp counselor or naturalist at several different locations in Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She knew that she wanted to be an educator and to work with animals so when Reptiles Alive offered her an educator and keeper position, she jumped at the chance to start her career!

RA Diet: Lizard Liz will typically eat very lightly, often just an apple or some carrots.

Natural Diet: Anything that isn’t spicy. She especially loves sea food and red meat.

Range: Lizard Liz can be found almost anywhere in the United States, occasionally venturing as far north as Alaska.

Habitat: The hotter, the better. Lizard Liz loves warm weather and the occasional thunderstorm and can be found anywhere from low lying beaches to the tops of mountains.

Size: Lizard Liz has reached her maximum size of 5’5′.

Lifespan: If Lizard Liz is well cared for, she can live up to 90 years or more.

Reproduction: Lizard Liz’s “baby” is a blue tongue skink named Spice, who is her pride and joy and VERY spoiled.

Conservation: From a young age, Lizard Liz has understood that there are many wildlife species that are in need of help. She has devoted her life to educating people about these species, especially the ones that don’t get enough recognition. She loves working with kids in environments where they can experience what they are learning about in a way that classrooms can’t always provide.

Cool Facts: Lizard Liz loves talking about all different kinds of animals and spent a summer working at the Philadelphia Zoo teaching kids about the large mammals including rhinos, cheetahs, and giraffes.

 

NOW FILLED Job Opening: Reptile Keeper (part time) & Wildlife Educator (part time)

 

THIS POSITION IS NOW FILLED AND CLOSED TO APPLICANTS

Job Opening: Reptile Keeper (part time) & Wildlife Educator (part time)

(positions may be combined for a full time position)

www.ReptilesAlive.com

Reptiles Alive LLC is looking for a reliable, responsible, and energetic person who wants to work professionally with reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Reptile Keeper 20-30 hours per week Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

Wildlife Educator 4-20 hours per week (flexible) primarily nights & weekends

Location: Our home-based facility is located in Annandale, VA. Educator will perform programs at venues throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area.

Reptile Keeper Position Description:

Pay is $12 per hour, avg 24 hours per week

Keeper Duties Will Include:

-Care for a collection of over 40 live reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates

-Cleaning animal enclosures – scrubbing, sanitizing, general maintenance of enclosures

– Checking animals for health and well-being

-Preparing animal food and feeding the animals

-Record keeping

-Following instructions for maintaining the safety of the facility and the health of the animals

-General cleaning (vacuuming/mopping/etc…) of animal and office areas

 

Keeper Duties May Include:

-Light office work (answering phone, emails, taking bookings, etc…)

-Assisting wildlife educators with outreach educational live animal shows at special events in the NoVA, DC, MD area.

Keeper Qualifications:

Applicants must be:

21 years or older

Exceptionally responsible and able to work without supervision

Able and willing to handle heavy animals that may bite and/or scratch

Ability to lift 50 pounds and work a physically demanding job for 8 hours

Experience with and knowledge about reptile husbandry is preferred

Successful candidate will have a clean criminal background and driving record check

 

 

Wildlife Educator Position Description:

Pay ranges from $0-$500 per week, based on bookings, primarily nights & weekends

Educator Duties Will Include:

-Presenting FUN, HIGH ENERGY, and ENTHUSIASTIC live animal shows for a variety of audiences (primarily children ages 2-12) and venues including private parties, school programs, scout meetings, and all kinds of events.

-SAFELY handling a variety of live reptiles (including snakes & crocodilians), amphibians, and invertebrates (including tarantulas & giant cockroaches) in public settings.

-Maintaining attention and control of audiences in a fun, upbeat, and positive manner

-Driving to all kinds of locations throughout the DC area

-Arriving ON TIME OR EARLY to all events

 

Educator Minimum Requirements:

-Must be extremely responsible, reliable, and able to work unsupervised

-High School Diploma and 21 years or older

-Valid driver’s license with clean driving record

-Ability to lift 50 pounds

-Ability to speak confidently and enthusiastically in front of large audiences

-Ability to handle exotic and potentially dangerous live animals safely in a public setting

-A reliable vehicle

-Comfortable driving in the DC metro area including the city and interstates

-Successful candidate will have a clean criminal background and driving record check

 

Educator Preferred Requirements:

-Experience developing and presenting animal/environmental education programs for the public

-Experience working with reptiles and amphibians or other live animals

-Experience driving in the Washington DC Metro area

-Completed college courses in communication, public speaking, drama, and/or biology.

 

To apply for either or both positions:

Please email your cover letter, resume, and three references to:

Caroline Seitz

reptilesalive@gmail.com

 

Happy Holidayssssss from Reptiles Alive!

Oh boy – I just love holiday time at Reptiles Alive.  Our tortoises and herbivorous lizards love the leftover pumpkins from Halloween and Thanksgiving we feed them (even more than pumpkin spiced lattes!)  Our gators, aquatic turtles, and carnivorous lizards enjoy some tasty turkey morsels to go along with their favorites of defrosted frozen mice & rats, super-worms, crickets, and giant roaches.

To help you celebrate the season, we are offering a special $20 discount on any Reptiles Alive show gift certificate purchased this month.  A Reptiles Alive show makes a super fun gift for teachers, kids, scout leaders, or any one you know who loves animals!  This is a unique gift your recipient will never forget.  Really – a Reptiles Alive show just makes the season bright!

gift certificate ad

To receive the $20 discount off your gift certificate, book your show with us this December and be sure to let us know you saw this offer on our blog page.  Or, you could sing the following song to us on the phone:

rudolph the red-eyed treefrog

For an even BIGGER DISCOUNT, send a video to us of yourself, or someone you know, with permission for us to use the video in social media and on our website to reptilesalive@gmail.com

If you do send us that video, YOU’LL GO DOWN IN HISSSSS-TO-RY!

Hoppy Holidays Everyone!  :)-

 

 

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade class.read more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17

We had Reptiles Alive join us for a country club event and they did an outstanding job! Ashley was amazing and so professional. She was very interactive with the children and played the role perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience!read more

Chelsea Barb

Chelsea Barb

20:20 28 Mar 18

We’ve been working with Reptiles Alive for the past 4 years now and they show up and show out every time. Everything from booking to the day of is efficient and friendly. At our past event, presenter Liz did 6 shows back to back for our campers, which is truly impressive and phenomenal. We will continue to work with Reptiles Alive for years to come and really appreciate the work and educating that they do!read more

Lydia Vanderbilt

Lydia Vanderbilt

21:09 05 Apr 18

Reptiles Alive gave an awesome show at our elementary school! The presenter was so much fun and really engaged the children. Very cool reptiles and a great interactive meet and greet at the end. The kids loved it!read more

Jonathan Grau

Jonathan Grau

14:52 07 Apr 18

I am in charge of grade level assemblies at our school and our 3rd grade has RA in for their Rain Forest show every year to reinforce the things they have learned about in class. This is my second year working with them and I have been absolutely thrilled with the interaction to book the event and with the presenters. They engage the kids and help make them a part of the show. I can’t say enough about this wonderful program and the amazing people that work there.read more

Kim Painter

Kim Painter

23:32 07 Apr 18

We love this show at our preschool!! The kids have so much fun and learn a lot! They are very organized and always start on time. We have always had a wonderful experience with Reptiles Alive and can’t wait to have them back again!read more

Melissa Jones

Melissa Jones

15:06 20 Apr 18

Reptiles Alive LLC visited our 1st grade friends and did the “Reptiles Alive!” show. They exceeded all of our expectations and were excellent at keeping the students engaged. The students have talked about it for days after, even repeating some of the facts they have heard! I would highly recommend Reptiles Alive!read more

Brittney Gjorgjievski

Brittney Gjorgjievski

16:12 14 May 18

Reptiles Alive was a MAJOR hit at the Mattie Miracle Walk & Family Festival. Rachel was incredibly professional, engaging, and clearly loves what she does. She made the show and meet & greet fun for both kids and adults. Can’t wait to have Reptiles Alive back next year to our event. We received a lot of positive feedback from our guests and we were thrilled to see how well attended the show was at our event. Thank you Reptiles Alive!!!read more

Peter Brown

Peter Brown

01:58 22 May 18

Caroline did an awesome job for our kindergarten Reptiles Alive performance. She held their attention and told fun stories. The reptiles are so cool! Every time she introduced a new reptile, the kids were amazed. I recommend the “meet and greet” time as well. My students will never forget touching a boa constrictor! Thanks Reptiles Alive!read more

Michelle Baldwin

Michelle Baldwin

03:00 09 Jun 18