If you come to Zion during spring, you will hear loud stuttering sounds, like a cross between an old engine turning over and a cat purring. Lorin thought it must be a large bird and Denyse assumed it was a beaver.
The sound really comes from tiny frogs that live in the drying puddles. They quickly become quiet and jump into their pools if they hear you approach, but if you imitate them loudly ( like an exaggerated Spanish RR ) they will perk up and converse with you for as long as you want.
After a few hours of talking to the frogs, we found that they use a tonal and rhythm system to communicate. The males set the tonal center, sometimes dropping a 5th or an octave, and the females reply in 5ths above the root note.
The mating ritual appears to work like this, The male will mutter his personal call, if a female is interested it will copy the tone and the rhythm. After enough validation, the male will swim over to the female and try to put the "death lock" on her, I call it this because after a male has gotten hold, he will not let go, even if a predator grabs them both.
One of the more interesting aspects of the frog behavior was how the males would fight for the best amplifying rock perch. Whoever is the loudest will probably win the female.
A lonely male
Two couples on their honeymoon.
A dolled up female casually waiting for Mr. Right.
Playing it cool with the chicks.
A very loud amphitheater.
A very efficient amphitheater,
where 8 males were talking dirty to females - half way down the canyon.
A very hoppin' frog hang out.
A strange primitive worm.
A dominant male vibrating the water.
He was trying to appease me because of the seductive sounds I made.
Later another male came up and tried to win me over, but was quickly vanquished.