Re: Regarding Global Decrease in Frog Population

Jay Reynolds Freeman (
Sun, 13 Oct 1996 13:40:45 -0700

I haven't followed this thread in detail, but can contribute some
things I have read. Amphibians in general have quite porous skins; thus
there is a concern that they may be more susceptible to increased levels of
toxins of whatever kind in the environment. This kind of stuff is hard to
study, but folks worried about decreases in frog populations also spend
time trying to think up falsifiable hypotheses, for test, relating to
increased levels of toxins.

In some of our field trips and lab work (I have been working on a
second baccalaureate in marine bio over the last six years), we were
cautioned to be sure our hands were very clean of things like lotions,
soap, sunscreen, and the like, before handling amphibians, for fear
that these substances would do them harm. There is also an
opposite side to the matter; some amphibians secrete substances toxic
to predators -- and incidentally to us -- through their skins, so we
had to be careful for our own sake.

-- Jay Freeman, First Extropian Squirrel