Frogs freeze solid for winter, then thaw out in spring

Wood frogs freeze in winter, thaw in spring. (WETM image)
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ELMIRA, New York (WETM) – Tired of the cold? Well, imagine if your whole body was frozen solid!

That's what a common wood frog does every winter - and survives!

"There is chemistry that goes into this adaptation that allows these frogs to freeze solid," explained Laine Sempler of the Tanglewood Nature Center.

Native to the Finger Lakes region, wood frogs go through an anti-freeze type process that allows ice to form in their blood and a protective sugary syrup throughout the resetting of their bodies.

"You can pick up a frozen wood frog and it clinks," said Sempler

These frogs will usually take cover in leaf litter, branches, or under logs just before they freeze for the cold winter months. Then, when temperatures begin to rise again, they thaw out and get on with lives, often searching for food or a partner for reproduction.

The life-saving adaption for frogs is something researchers are now trying to hone in on for use in the medical field.

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