The relentless march of urban sprawl has ruined a lot of things, but not frog sex! A recent study reveals that tree frogs are using man-made structures to become more irresistible to potential mates than ever before… so, hey, if humanity destroys everything else, at least we’ll have an unprecedented number of frogs!
In unsullied tree frog habitats, the male of the species uses his call to attract a mate, and lady frogs choose their partner based on which call they find most attractive. To make sure their flirting is heard, the males find methods of amplification—tree-hole frogs, for example, use the resonance of hollows in trees to make sure all the ladies know what’s up (tiny frog dicks are, I presume).
Frogs are so skilled at bringing girls to the yard, in fact, that their mating calls haven’t been compromised by said yard being replaced with concrete. In urban areas of Taiwan, new research shows some species are getting their groove back by using man-made structures like telephone poles, roads, and storm drains for hook-ups.
Yu-Teh Kirk Lin of National Taiwan University authored a study recently in the Journal of Zoology on Mientien tree frogs and the “miniature urban canyons” they use as mics for their romancing. Storm drains, for example, increase the volume and duration of a frog’s call, which might be false advertising but is so effective that Lin hypothesizes Mientien frogs are even mating and living in their man-made sex caves.
Concrete drains are miniature canyons, but are not analogous to anything in Mientien tree frog natural habitats[…]Therefore, it is interesting to find those frogs preferentially calling in the drains.
Stay sexy, frogs!