Friday, 29 March 2013

Batrachian

Frog, Batrachian, Cute, Green, Amphibian
A narcissistic (and exceptionally cute) frog
Photo by Esteban Alzate

BATRACHIAN

Adjective & noun. M19.
[from mod. Latin Batrachia former name of the order Anura, from Greek batrakheia neut. pl. of adjective from batrakhos frog.]

(Pertaining to, of the nature or characteristic of) a frog or toad.

Humans have a strange relationship with frogs. We variously love them, revile them, eat them, fear them, farm them, worship them and think they're unclean. Personally, I think they're rather fascinating. As a child I was a batrachophile, as every year we would get an inundation of frogs and toads into our garden around our pond. My friend and I whiled away many an hour counting them, naming them and otherwise studying their batrachian antics. 

Sadly, however, frogs and toads are in trouble as there has been a marked decline in their numbers worldwide since the 1980s (as there has with amphibians generally), and many species are listed as endangered. Even if one isn't particularly fond of all things batrachian, this has a much wider impact as frogs and toads are considered good indicators of an ecosystem's health and often play a critical role in food chains. Various study and conservation groups are working to address this and discover why amphibian populations are crashing. Considering that frogs are on every continent except Antarctica, this is truly a global issue.

4 comments:

  1. There's just no room for them to live anymore. Here in Flanders, you can't drive a kilometer without seeing some kind of building, or village, or full-grown city. I remember a whole lot of nature-roaming when I was younger, on my grandparents' land. A lot of kids now don't even have the chance to climb trees or catch frogs and grasshoppers. It makes me kinda sad. Hope my future kids will still be able to just be outside all day, exploring the world.

    I sound so melodramatic ><

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  2. Well, there you go. I've been a batrachophile all my life and never known it. I feel suddenly slightly taller. And possibly more inclined to hop.

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    Replies
    1. Good for you, Sally. Frogs need friends - now more than ever.

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