Hitch-Hiking Frog from Holland Finds Safe Harbor at Middle School
The owner of the Cooks and Company Gift and Flower Shop in Galesburg was surprised when she opened a recent shipment of live tulips from Holland and discovered a tiny stow-away: a spotted- 1.5 cm frog was hiding in the shipment!
Quick thinking employees sent a text to Tamy Rankin and asked for help in re-locating the hitch-hiker.
" Tulip", as he has come to be called, came to the West Central Middle School science classroom and immediately entered a warm and humid terrarium where he is enjoying a tiny pond, live plants and a meal worms. How the amphibian survived several weeks in the cold and dark of a freight ship from Europe, crossed and ocean and then a bounced around in a long truck ride to the mid-west is a complete mystery!
" There must have been enough humidity in the tulip packages to keep him hydrated and if his temperature was lowered he may have not needed to eat on the journey- since his body temperature is not dependent upon his burning calories for heat. He kind of " hibernated" in a way until he got here and warmed up inside the flower shop. That's our working idea right now".
At this time, all efforts to identify his species have been futile. Mrs. Rankin and her students tried several on-line resources, and contacted scientists at Monmouth College, and Western Illinois University, but the genus and species of Tulip remain a mystery.
Tulip's photo and background have now been registered with the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where Dr. Alan Resetar is attempting to identify him.
The students of West Central Middle School are excited to hear from Dr. Resetar and are hoping for a Skype session about Tulip from the museum Researcher.