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Red-eyed Tree Frogs



Red-eyed Tree Frogs
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.79

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    callidryas, full-force, slit-like, neon, excruciating, best, scientific, disruption, survival, composure, pageant, strategy, defensive, warning, coloration, solution
     content words:    Central America, South America


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Red-eyed Tree Frogs   

1     Red-eyed tree frogs (scientific name: Agalychnis callidryas) are colorful! They are named for their eye-catching large, red eyes with slit-like black pupils. In addition, their bodies have bright, contrasting colors. Their backs are neon green with occasional splashes of blue and yellow markings. They have blue and cream stripes on their flanks. Their bellies are yellowish white, and their feet are red or orange. Red-eyed tree frogs are so colorful and lively that they could easily win the beauty pageant of frogs if such an event were ever held!
 
2     There are many practical uses for their distinctive colors. During the day, they rest on tree leaves and try to cover any part of their bodies that may give their presence away. Hence, they fold their limbs by their sides to cover the stripes. They also keep their eyes closed. By doing so, the only color their bodies reveal is green. They blend in perfectly with the leaves they are sitting on as well as the lush environment they are in.
 
3     But, sometimes, even the best camouflage may fail. To prepare for a situation like that, red-eyed tree frogs have a brilliant solution. If disturbed as they nap throughout the day, red-eyed tree frogs open their eyes abruptly. The sudden display of their bright red eyes startles their predators. As their enemies try to regain their composure, red-eyed tree frogs use these precious few moments to escape. Scientists brand this defensive strategy "startle coloration." Indeed, red-eyed tree frogs know that their attackers would not expect a surprise. Thus, by popping their prominent red eyes open without warning, they give their assailants a good scare!

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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Frogs
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