Alaskan Frogs can Survive While being Frozen for up to 218 days
Wood frogs in subarctic interior Alaska have a unique technique to survive during winter season. They freeze themselves below minus 18 degrees Celsius. They are so good in doing it that they can remain in this state for up to 218 days and when spring season comes, they easily come back to life.
Don Larson, lead author of the study, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, shared that wood frogs are freeze-tolerant amphibians.
By this, it means that they cover themselves using duff and leaves making a cave like structure. Larson considers his research to be the first to assess frogs under natural condition. Researchers explained that to survive in such severe winters, cells of the frogs hold a great amount of glucose in their tissues.
Presence of such a large amount of glucose in tissues acts as an additional layer that protects cells. The process is known as cryoprotection.
"In the field in early autumn it's freezing during the night, thawing slightly during the day, and these repeated freezing episodes stimulate the frogs to release more and more glucose", affirmed Larson.
The new study has certainly offered detailed information regarding the endurance limits of these frogs. Earlier, frogs caught from the eastern US and Canada were found to survive in frozen condition for only a few weeks and also, not lower than minus 7.2 degrees Celsius.
Larson said it would be great if science is able to find out a way by which human organs can be kept without any harm for longer duration so that people in need of organs can have them.
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