Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Disappearing amphibians
Name: Thomas C Catlow
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Amphibians seem to be disappearing on a worldwide scale. We know that amphibians have permeable skins & that UV radiation & atmospheric pollution are high, however, what are the direct causal factors to amphibian disappearance? Since these organisms also seem to be dying off from pristine areas alien snatching could be a factor!!! No, really, what is the latest thinking about this strange phenomenon??



Replies:
I haven't heard of that theory, but hey, anything's possible. Precisely because air pollution does not tend to stay confined to a limited area, but spreads around, it is likely to be having global effects. It's become better recognized in recent years that UV can penetrate water (at least to several s feet) and thus an increase in general UV radiation could have effects on many amphibians world-wide. Also, many amphibian populations hatch in the spring, when snow melt runoff is great, If that snow contained acidic pollutants, the streams that its runoff feeds can be transiently acidified during high snow melt times. This can be tough on little critters, especially newborns. So I don't think we need to invoke aliens, though there is a certain charm; have any of the people who've been taken up on alien ships seen frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.?

Ethan Allen



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory