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THE AMAZING FROZEN FROG

Feeling chilly? Then consider this: there are frogs in Canada that in winter turn into living 'ice cubes', with over half of the water in their bodies turned to ice.

This is what the frog looks like in summer - its skin is a glowing warm red.

In winter, the frogs dig themselves into the wet soil and gradually freeze as the ambient temperature falls. Amazingly, as much as 65% of the wood frog's total body water may freeze.

The next picture shows what it looks like when it's frozen! 

How can it do this and survive?

The frog has two secrets to its success. The first is that it only freezes the water around its cells, not the water in them. The second is that the frogs protect their vital organs by producing massive amounts of glucose - which works as an antifreeze.

In their 'frozen state', the frogs display virtually no movement, breathing or heartbeat. Months later, in spring, the frogs 'thaw out' and, minutes later, are fully revived!

Berry Billingsley

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Written and project managed by Berry Billingsley for the Department of Education