Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Sounds of Survival: The quest to record an exquisite spike-thumb frog mating call

Watch more with these video collections:

Deep in the emerald cloud forests of Cusuco National Park of Honduras, scientists are on a quest to record the never-before-heard call of the endangered “exquisite spike-thumb frog” (Plectrohyla exquisita). This charming ambassador for the park’s rich biodiversity is just one of 16 different species of amphibians listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN that are clinging to survival inside the small park. Some are found nowhere else on Earth.

The exquisita’s mating call, if found, might inspire frogs at the Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (HARCC) to breed in captivity, an important step in protecting the endangered species. But how can we find and record this call when we don’t know what it sounds like? And how can it be recorded clearly in the middle of a bubbling river?

In the bioGraphic video above, herpetologist and conservationist Jonathan Kolby teams up with sound artist Ben Mirin to record the exquisite spike-thumb frog mating call. We also see and hear some beautifully filmed moments with other small creatures in the landscape.

Plectrohyla exquisita
herpetologist and conservationist Jonathan Kolby teams up with sound artist Ben Mirin
Learn more about HARCC’s conservation work, and the chytrid fungus that’s harming amphibian populations around the globe, in the short film below. Both films were produced by biologist and filmmaker Katie Garrett.

Next: Mapping whale songs in the South Pacific, A Blind Birdwatcher Sees With Sound, and how do birds learn to sing?

Then watch cell division in a frog egg, a microscopic time-lapse video, raising wood frogs, from eggs to tadpoles to adults in 7 weeks, and repopulating an Ohio creek with giant salamanders.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

A larval Eastern Tiger Salamander grows a new foot

Rion Nakaya

Needle felting a stop-motion puppet bullfrog

Rion Nakaya

Uncovering the Secret Lives of Reed Frogs

Rion Nakaya

The formidable fighting poison dart frog

Rion Nakaya

Introducing a White’s tree frog (a.k.a. an Australian green tree frog)

Rion Nakaya

Tadpoles: The Big Little Migration, a film by Maxwel Hohn

Rion Nakaya

The mysterious purple frog of the Western Ghats

Rion Nakaya

The Fish That Walk on Land, an animated introduction to amphibious fish

Rion Nakaya

Can wolves howl and relax at the same time?

Rion Nakaya