Wood frogs' No. 1 option: Hold in pee all winter to survive - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Wood frogs' No. 1 option: Hold in pee all winter to survive

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By SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - If you've ever been unable to find a bathroom in a moment of need, you know the gotta-go feeling. That's nothing compared to the wood frog, which doesn't urinate all winter.

Scientists have now figured how they do it, or more accurately, how they survive without doing it.

Jon Costanzo, a zoologist at Miami University in Ohio, says special microbes in frog guts allow the amphibian to recycle the main waste in urine into useful nitrogen. It keeps the small frogs alive as they hibernate and freeze inside and out.

Costanzo says the frog's heart, brain and blood stop, but the former urine protects the cells and tissue, allowing the critter to revive in February as if nothing happened.

The study is in Tuesday's journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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