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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Amphibians Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Frogs, toads, and salamanders were the most incidentally described of all the animals with backbones. Apparently, in the eyes of Lewis and Clark, there weren't many varieties of frogs. Some frogs that were seen they figured for the same as ones in the East. Frog experts would differ with their interpretations, but that's how they saw it. Animals without backbones fared worst. For example, Lewis could not have been more mistaken when he described butterflies of the West as common to the United States. Whatever the reasons for describing so few amphibians Lewis and Clark did manage to describe and collect hundreds of species of animals and plants. They also mapped their way from the Mississippi to the Pacific, and counted and described native tribes. All this was accomplished while the men fought the strong currents of the Missouri and Columbia rivers, and while trekking across the Rocky Mountains.

Species Common Name
Pseudacris regilla Baird and Girard Pacific chorus frog, Pacific treefrog
Rana pretosia Baird and Girard Oregon spotted frog
Taricha granulosa Skilton rough-skinned newt

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