It was a warm and a humid Sunday morning on 24th April 2016 as we gathered at Jurong Frog Farm for our last activity of the first quarter!
The baritone call of the male bullfrog is so deep and resonates over the sprawling farm. The bellow resembles the mooing of a cow and truly brought back fond memories of our previous farm tour at The Dairy Folks. Their choruses can be heard frequently during the night too!
Before we started the tour, the filming crew from ‘On The Red Dot’ were there at the site to capture and interview the family of frog farmers! We will be on Channel 5 on 20th May, Friday at 9.30pm!
We got to know each other on a personalized manner by breaking up into smaller groups of 2-3 people! The smaller group were then asked to introduce their new found friends to everyone!
We got to know Hui Zhen who works in AVA and is here on a personal basis to understand the daily operations of the farm. We also got to know Keith who visited Jurong Frog Farm, a week earlier and the Lim family who has joined us on our farm tour at the cow farm last month!
All warmed up, ready for the tour
Zhengxun, our cool and experienced farm guide introduced the American Bullfrogs, the largest of all North American frogs. Zhengxun is a full time staff and has been staying at the farm for a few months now. He enthusiastically explained that the bullfrogs are typically green or gray-brown with brown spots and have easily identifiable circular eardrums, or tympanum, on either side of their heads.
As nocturnal predators without eyelids, the bullfrogs usually sit quietly and wait for prey to pass by, then lunge with their powerful hind legs with mouths wide open. However, the frogs at the farm were fed with dry pellets of fish meat in conducive pens. Due to the warm and humid climate in Singapore, the frogs require 9 months instead of the usual 6 months in colder climates to reach adulthood. The cold blooded frogs also tend to cluster together to minimize moisture evaporation from their skins.
Do you dare to touch a frog?
NEW SKILL: Differentiating Male Vs Female Bullfrogs
Fun Fact #1
Females are slightly larger than males. Males are highly territorial and will aggressively guard their land to ward off potential competition!
Fun Fact #2
Males have a yellow throat while females have a white throat.
Fun Fact #3
Males have eardrums larger than their eyes, whereas the eardrums in females are about the same size as the eyes!
The Bullfrog Growth Cycle
The female chooses a site in shallow water among vegetation, and lays a batch of up to 20,000 eggs. The eggs form a thin, floating sheet and give out a pungent smell to ward off predators. The embryos develop best at water temperatures between 24 and 30 °C and hatch in three to five days into tadpoles.
Tadpoles undergo metamorphosis where the hind legs and front legs begin to develop while the tail and gills begin to disappear. To better cope with the new body transformation, bricks were placed at strategic locations to train and rest the frog’s hind legs.
Apoptosis happens in which programmed cell death on the tail happens. This completes the transformation from stage 2 into a fully developed froglet.
Chelsea, the second generation frog farmer demonstrating the key ingredients to crispy fried frog skins and frog legs.
Dancing Frogs in Action!
Do you know? Sodium salt is able to unleash the remaining energy in the cells which causes it to twitch!
According to Chelsea, frog skins possess better collagen yield than Hashima and is known in research to have excellent pharmaceutical properties for the skin! The blood vessels on the skin can be visibly seen and play a vital role for the frog to breathe on land.
To make the frog skin crispier during the frying process, we had to remove the blood vessels from the frog skins. It was a painstaking process and required a lot of patience!
Deon, Chelsea’s husband frying the frog skins to absolute perfection.
Tada! Yummy frog legs and skins is served !
That's a wrap!
We had a memorable experience at the countryside and we couldn’t do it without your strong support and participation! Do check out our future activities soon!