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The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead.

The origin of the heart beat: a tale of frogs, jellyfish, and turtles. - PubMed - NCBI

The two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could and after several hours of desperate effort were quite weary. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit and died as the others looked on in helpless grief. The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted.

His companions began a new, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die.

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The weary-frog jumped harder and harder and - wonder of wonders! Finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit.

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Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then gathering around him asked, "Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible? Fast Company magazine did an admirable early myth-busting story on the topic in its very first issue, more than a decade ago. The best quote of many good ones in the article was from the Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians at the National Museum of Natural History, who when asked about the boiled-frog story said: "Well that's, may I say, bullshit.

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The most interesting scientific report is on Google Answers , in response to a request for a "biologically valid" example of animal behavior that would illustrate the same point. Why bother mentioning this moment in Gore's film? From a politician like, say, former Rep. Tom DeLay, with his novel interpretations of Terry Schiavo's medical condition, it would barely noticeable. But from our scientist-statesman, Al Gore???

In fairness, his case is not as embarrassing as that of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which used the parable of the frog in a recent editorial. Frogs have a hard enough time as it is, what with diminishing swampland and polluted waters.

There is more to the hippos and cows and chickens and dogs and mice than meets the eye.

A twelve-hour flight from Shanghai to San Francisco has its drawbacks, but one of the plusses is the chance to catch up on a whole slew of movies. Since I found him persuasive on the big points, let me mention only a small one: the "frog in boiling water" myth that simply won't go away. Everyone who has heard a political speech knows this story: You put a frog into a pot of boiling water, and it jumps right out.

But if you put it in a pot of nice comfortable water and then turn on the heat, the frog will complacently let himself be boiled. One standard version of the story is here. The reason it's so popular in politics is that it's an easy way to warn about the slow erosion of liberties or any other slow threat you want to talk about. Here's the problem. It just isn't true. If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will unfortunately be hurt pretty badly before it manages to get out -- if it can.

The Little Frog - Who are you listening too?