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The Sound of Science - 'Illinois Frogs'

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Kristin: Welcome WNIJ listeners to the Sound of Science. I’m Kristin Brynteson, Director of NIU STEAM.

Ann: And I’m Ann Shult.

Kristin: So Ann, I walked past a pond the other day and was surprised to hear this…  

Ann: What do you think it is?

Kristin:  Well, at first, I thought it was a bird, but then I remembered hearing a talk from NIU post-doctoral fellow Dr. John Vanek. It’s actually a frog! 

Ann: Well, it is that time of year, early spring. I wonder how many species of frogs are out singing right now. 

Kristin: I don’t know, lets hear from Dr. Vanek. 

Excerpt From Dr. Vanek:

I just wanted to go over a little bit of terminology first. So, Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians. A Herpetologist is a Biologist who studies Herpetology. And I’m sure you’ve heard of people who go birding or bird watching. Those of us who really like reptiles and amphibians will say were going Herping, which is kind of like birding but certainly less popular. Getting that out of the way, I thought what we’d talk about today is we’d start with some frogs or some toads because those are the species you are most likely going to encounter. So there are six main frogs that I would say are common in Illinois. And these six species are actually found on NIU’s campus here in Dekalb. They are the Northern Leopard Frog, the Bull Frog, the Green Frog, the Grey Treefrog -yes we have tree frogs in DeKalb and northern Illinois- the Boreal Chorus Frog which is a really cool little one and the American Toad which hopefully everyone has at least seen one up close. 

Ann: So, the next time you are outside, stop and listen. You’ll be surprised what you hear. 

Kristin: This was the Sound of Science on WNIJ

Ann: Where you learn something new every day. 

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