The toad’s lullaby note comes from the far margin, sweeter than all others. . . . This song has been compared to the slow opening movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’.
— Mary C. Dickerson, The Frog Book (1906)
Amphibia are cold-blooded; they lack the mechanisms which give the higher types both freedom from environmental change and constancy of chemical activity at the optimum conditions for the expenditure of their energies. . . . Hence their energy sources, the food and oxygen, are made available at a much slower rate in these forms. . . . Amphibia are not able to make use, to the fullest extent, of either their nervous or their motor systems. They remain slaves of their surroundings.
— G. Kingsley Noble, The Biology of the Amphibia (1931)
The typical amphibian is still chained to the water. In the water it is born; to the water it must periodically return. We have noted various devices among living amphibians which have enabled them to circumvent this difficulty to some extent. But these makeshifts have not been particularly successful. The amphibian is . . . in many respects, little more than a peculiar type of fish which is capable of walking on land
— Alfred Sherwood Romer, The Vertebrate Story (1959)
These world-filling, mind-altering choruses of spring peepers have no equal in the northeastern landscape. There is talk now of the silence of the frogs, of their striking diebacks, and declines and the disappearance of species globally. . . . It is a silencing that has taken other voices than those of frogs, as well as voiceless presences, all inevitably vanishing with the disappearance of the places in which they must live
— David M. Carroll, Swampwalker’s Journal (1999)
The sound, which the scientific books describe as “croaking,” floats far and wide, and produces a beautiful, mysterious effect on a still evening when the last heavy-footed labourer has trudged home to his tea, leaving the world to darkness and to me.
— W. H. Hudson, The Book of a Naturalist (1919)
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