With Christmas just a week away, we decided that for our final Freaky Frog article of the year, we would take a look at a frog that is certainly no stranger to the cold. Amphibians require heat from their surrounding environment to warm up, but, thanks to their thin, permeable skin, they risk fatally drying out if exposed to intense sunlight. Therefore, they are often found in warm but humid places such as the tropics.
The quintessential Christmas bird, especially if Christmas cards are anything to go by, must surely be the robin. Small, approachable and endearingly dumpy, the robin is one of Britain’s best-loved birds, regularly topping any opinion poll that is carried out to find the nation’s favourite – most recently in 2015 when it received 34% of the votes (the runner-up, the barn owl, only received 12%).
Around Christmas time, the whole country comes together and there’s a universal appreciation for one of my all-time favourite animals – the robin. And I’m not the only one who loves this charismatic little bird. Here in the UK, our passion for the robin has caused it to become extraordinarily tame, and it isn’t uncommon to see one flitting between your feet, collecting crumbs, as you sit on a park bench.
December is well underway now. Christmas will soon be upon us. The days have shortened and the temperature has fallen. Many parts of the UK have already seen their first major snowfall of the season. But come spring, this cold, dark time of year will almost seem like a distant memory. So spare a thought for those animals that live in really cold parts of the world, such as Antarctica and the Arctic.