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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2013
Some of springtime's more notable heralds appear to be fading away, as a new study finds frogs, toads and salamanders disappearing at an alarming rate across the United States. In what they say is the first analysis of its kind, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and a couple of universities report that declines in environmentally sensitive amphibians are more widespread and more severe than previously thought. Even the most common critters, such as the spring peepers that make Maryland marshes ring with their mating cries, appear to be losing ground.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2013
Some of springtime's more notable heralds appear to be fading away, as a new study finds frogs, toads and salamanders disappearing at an alarming rate across the United States. In what they say is the first analysis of its kind, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and a couple of universities report that declines in environmentally sensitive amphibians are more widespread and more severe than previously thought. Even the most common critters, such as the spring peepers that make Maryland marshes ring with their mating cries, appear to be losing ground.
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By C. FRASER SMITH and C. FRASER SMITH,Fraser Smith covers Maryland politics for The Sun | June 2, 1991
To a political discipline named for the supple and vaguely sinister amphibian, the 1990s bring a kinder and gentler labeling based on junk food.A former governor of Massachusetts named Gerry perfected the technique of drawing election district lines so erratically that they were likened to salamanders -- hence gerrymandering. These maps allowed the politically powerful to protect themselves with cushions of sympathetic voters. They could help their friends and punish their enemies.The manipulative impulse lives, no doubt.
HEALTH
By Candy Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | March 29, 2013
- The volunteers of the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project leave no log unrolled, no stone unturned in their quest to document the state's dirt dwellers. When the earth is moist after a soaking rain and the temperatures whisper spring, the herp patrol - short for herpetology - spreads out in search of slithering, hopping, plodding critters along the fringes of farm fields, sunning themselves on pond rocks and making new burrows at the edges of vernal pools. These amateur census takers aren't picky.
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By CARL SCHOETTLER and CARL SCHOETTLER,SUN STAFF | March 29, 1999
The sun rises big and bright and wintry and the wind blusters cold off the low fields when Charlie Stine dons his waders and stomps through the last thin ice on Massey Pond like Indiana Jones in search of the Lost Ark.On this clear sharp morning as winter ends, the Eastern Shore landscape has the spare beauty of a Rembrandt etching of Holland in winter. Charlie Stine -- Dr. Charles J. Stine in the catalog of the Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies -- loves this place. He's been coming to this corner of Kent County for nearly 50 years, drawn by the mysterious ways of the very elusive Eastern tiger salamander.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | October 18, 2004
One of the oldest life forms on Earth is disappearing, and no one knows why. The number of amphibians - a class of creature that predates the dinosaur and includes frogs, toads and salamanders - is declining across the world at astonishing rates. Costa Rica's golden toad vanished from a pristine wildlife refuge in about three years. Fewer chorus frogs are singing in upstate New York, and the Mississippi gopher frog has all but disappeared from the Southeast. There could be many reasons: climate change, habitat loss, man-made pollutants, and recently discovered diseases.
NEWS
By Tom Horton and Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | February 13, 2004
IF YOU SOUGHT out the heart of the forest, where would it be? What would it look like? Would you even know if you found it? Most of us would tramp by, uncomprehending the tiny but potent wellsprings of life known as autumnal-vernal ponds. Unfortunately, the ignorance extends to a lack of protection from drainage, development and timbering. In summer, these woodland wetlands aren't even damp. Only an expert might note their grayish soils, a slightly more open understory than the surrounding woods and a bulge to the trunks of trees there.
NEWS
By DON C. FORESTER | March 19, 1993
I am well aware that spring officially begins some time after dinner tomorrow. But this is a less than perfect world, and Mother Nature is a free spirit, unconstrained by celestial calendars or official human pronouncements. And so, when the temperatures finally rose above freezing and the snow began to melt on the last day of February, I knew all bets were off -- spring would be early.Sure enough, by the middle of the second week in March, the vernal cycle had begun. A heavy downpour in late afternoon served as the final cue, setting into motion a reproductive ritual that had been primed the previous fall by the release hormones, induced by a shifting photoperiod.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper and Julie Scharper,sun reporter | March 30, 2007
A springtime search for amphibian amour Ah, spring. Birds twitter. Blossoms sway in the breeze. And toads burst out of the muck, croak around the clock and lay mounds of gelatinous eggs. Like many species, toads spend the spring looking for love. "They have no cares in the world right now, except each other," says Courtney Peed, a naturalist who will lead a hike through the Oregon Ridge Nature Center in Cockeysville tonight. She says this as she points to a pair of toads floating near the muddy bank of a pond.
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By Wayne Hardin | May 30, 1993
William G. Durden delivers 'Smart Kids' and shows how they 0) managed to get that wayDr. William G. Durden has been waiting like an expectant father for the delivery of his "Smart Kids."That's the name of his new non-fiction book, his second as director of the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University."I'm very excited about it," he says. "It could be any day now."Dr. Durden, 43, has master's and Ph.D. degrees from Hopkins, and since 1981 has been director of the center, which tries to identify academically talented youngsters and provides summer programs for them.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun | July 20, 2011
It's difficult to imagine an animal less likely to draw admiring crowds at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore . A homely giant salamander that hides under rocks, slimes its enemies when threatened, and goes by such aliases as snot otter, devil dog and Allegheny alligator, the hellbender is nevertheless seen as an important and valuable addition to the zoo's collection. Two of the increasingly scarce animals inhabit Hellbender Country, a $200,000 exhibit that is set to open Thursday as part of the Maryland Wilderness area.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper and Julie Scharper,sun reporter | March 30, 2007
A springtime search for amphibian amour Ah, spring. Birds twitter. Blossoms sway in the breeze. And toads burst out of the muck, croak around the clock and lay mounds of gelatinous eggs. Like many species, toads spend the spring looking for love. "They have no cares in the world right now, except each other," says Courtney Peed, a naturalist who will lead a hike through the Oregon Ridge Nature Center in Cockeysville tonight. She says this as she points to a pair of toads floating near the muddy bank of a pond.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,SUN STAFF | July 26, 2005
Charlie Stine splashes through Massey Pond, jabbing his long-handled net into the water like a very impatient crabber. He's wearing waders, and he's up to his hips in water trying to catch predatory fish he thinks prey on his beloved tiger salamanders. A respected ecologist who teaches at the Johns Hopkins University, Stine first found tiger salamanders at this pond in Kent County nearly 50 years ago. He's returned many, many times every year since trying to pry out the secrets of this very elusive creature.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | April 2, 2004
Researchers digging along a rural Pennsylvania highway have unearthed what they say is the world's oldest known arm bone, once used by a slithery creature to raise itself up out of a prehistoric swamp. "We're looking at our very distant ancestor," said Neil Shubin, a professor of organismal biology at the University of Chicago who worked on the discovery. The bone formed the upper arm of an animal about 3 feet long that looked like a flat-headed salamander and lurked in swamps and shallow waters 365 million years ago. Lodged in a geological formation exposed by highway construction a decade ago, the bone will help scientists determine what kinds of aquatic creatures first ventured out of the primordial ooze to form the roots of our family tree.
NEWS
By Tom Horton and Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | February 13, 2004
IF YOU SOUGHT out the heart of the forest, where would it be? What would it look like? Would you even know if you found it? Most of us would tramp by, uncomprehending the tiny but potent wellsprings of life known as autumnal-vernal ponds. Unfortunately, the ignorance extends to a lack of protection from drainage, development and timbering. In summer, these woodland wetlands aren't even damp. Only an expert might note their grayish soils, a slightly more open understory than the surrounding woods and a bulge to the trunks of trees there.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | October 5, 2003
In the abstract, Kathy Anzivino believes there must be some pinnacle of amenities that universities simply cannot surpass, some outer limit so far beyond the hot tubs, waterfalls and pool slides she offers at the University of Houston that even the most pampered students will never demand it and the most recruitment-crazed colleges will never consent to put it on their grounds. She just has a hard time picturing what that might be. "There's got to be one, but what it is I don't know," said Anzivino, director of campus recreation at the university, which opened a $53 million wellness center this year.
NEWS
By Dina Cappiello and Dina Cappiello,albany times union | September 30, 1999
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Drought can cause a population boom or bust for animals and plants. It depends on what they eat, where they live and how they grow.Creatures that rely on rain-filled ponds are hungry and homeless this summer. Those that can capitalize on the briefest spurt of rain will withstand the dry times."Bees are doing extremely well. We're having a great honey flow," beekeeper Lloyd Spear said recently. He expects his yield at Pine Bush Apiaries in Schenectady, N.Y., to increase by 25 percent this season.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | October 5, 2003
In the abstract, Kathy Anzivino believes there must be some pinnacle of amenities that universities simply cannot surpass, some outer limit so far beyond the hot tubs, waterfalls and pool slides she offers at the University of Houston that even the most pampered students will never demand it and the most recruitment-crazed colleges will never consent to put it on their grounds. She just has a hard time picturing what that might be. "There's got to be one, but what it is I don't know," said Anzivino, director of campus recreation at the university, which opened a $53 million wellness center this year.
NEWS
By Dina Cappiello and Dina Cappiello,albany times union | September 30, 1999
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Drought can cause a population boom or bust for animals and plants. It depends on what they eat, where they live and how they grow.Creatures that rely on rain-filled ponds are hungry and homeless this summer. Those that can capitalize on the briefest spurt of rain will withstand the dry times."Bees are doing extremely well. We're having a great honey flow," beekeeper Lloyd Spear said recently. He expects his yield at Pine Bush Apiaries in Schenectady, N.Y., to increase by 25 percent this season.
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