Frog muscles survive big sleep

May 10, 2007
Ms Symonds with a green-striped burrowing frog
Ms Symonds with a green-striped burrowing frog

A rare Australian frog that burrows underground for a summer siesta resurfaces more than nine months later in just as good a shape as before its rest, according to UQ research.

Long hibernations usually waste mammal and amphibian muscles, but the green-striped burrowing frog is an exception.

UQ PhD student and zoology research assistant Beth Symonds has shown this frog's muscles were unaffected during its subterranean break to avoid the summer sun and dehydration.

Miss Symonds found that muscle contraction speed slowed slightly but the frog retained its power, muscle mass and muscle fibres after waking.

“If you immobilized a person for nine months they wouldn't even be able to walk,” Miss Symonds said.

The 29-year-old from Birkdale is now collecting data on three enzymes in the frog's muscle tissue to understand how it preserves energy.

She said it would take more research to explain exactly how the green-striped burrowing frog maintained its muscles after the big sleep.

She also believes that Australia's other burrowing frogs, of which there are more than 13 different species, were probably capable of the same feat.

Source: University of Queensland

Explore further: How to reset a diseased cell

Related Stories

Claims about the decline of the West are 'exaggerated'

3 hours ago

A new paper by Oxford researchers argues that some countries in Western Europe, and the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand now have birth rates that are now relatively close to replacement, that the underlying trend in ...

Norway tests out 'animal rights cops'

4 hours ago

Norwegian police is creating a unit to investigate cruelty to animals, the government said Monday, arguing that those who hurt animals often harm people too.

Recommended for you

How to reset a diseased cell

May 01, 2015

In proof-of-concept experiments, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine demonstrate the ability to tune medically relevant cell behaviors by manipulating a key hub in cell communication networks. ...

Highly efficient CRISPR knock-in in mouse

May 01, 2015

Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas system has enabled direct modification of the mouse genome in fertilized mouse eggs, leading to rapid, convenient, and efficient one-step production of knockout mice without ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.