Alaska Science Forum: Report of frog’s death greatly exaggerated

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Things didn’t look good for the five frozen wood frogs.

The palm-sized amphibians were hibernating in a box outside Brian Barnes’ Fairbanks home a few decades ago. Barnes, director of the Institute of Arctic Biology, and his students were in his living room checking a temperature gauge he recently plucked from the “frog corral.”

When he plugged the device into his computer, a graph spilled across the screen.

The temperature at frog level, under a few inches of snow and moss, had dipped to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in December.

“That guy’s toast,” Steve Trumble, a former UAF graduate student, said of the particular frog whose belly the temperature recorder

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