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318375.  Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:12 am Reply with quote

The Glass Frog or Ghost Frog is translucent from underneath; you can see its skeleton, muscles, intestines, and organs including the beating heart.

S: “Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).

318376.  Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:13 am Reply with quote

The Pyxie Frog - properly called the African Bullfrog - is big and hungry. Some frog experts refer to it as a “walking stomach,” although it doesn't really do much walking; it buries itself up to the eyes in leafmould, and lunges at anything edible that passes.

It will eat insects, worms, small reptiles, amphibians, chickens, ducks, and small mammals. In captivity they’ve been known to binge to death on mice. A South African zoo recorded an African Bullfrog in a reptile enclosure eating 17 baby spitting cobras at one sitting.

They are attentive fathers, fiercely protecting their eggs and tadpoles from predators. On the other hand, they do also eat their own tadpoles.

S: “Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).

318411.  Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:32 am Reply with quote

Male Harlequin Frogs have a “Bidder’s organ.” If you remove their testicles this organ will grow into fully functional ovaries.

S: “Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).

318465.  Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:59 am Reply with quote

The Water-Holding Frog of Australia is able to retain large amounts of water in its body, against drought. It then buries itself in an underground cocoon. Aborigines in desert areas dug up the frogs, “placed the rear of a frog in their mouth, and squeezed water from the frog.”

When the rains come, the frogs emerge in large numbers to migrate to the water; on one occasion, the transcontinental railway was halted by the frogs migrating. The trains were squashing so many of them, that the wheels could no longer grip the rails.

S: “Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).

318485.  Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:20 am Reply with quote

The 1.25 inch-long Greenhouse Frog of North America is very unusual in its method of reproduction. It lays its eggs on land, without a protective bubble mass, and the babies hatch directly from the eggs - they don’t emerge as tadpoles.

In fact, they do go through a tadpole stage, but they do so inside the egg. When it’s ready to emerge it uses an egg tooth - as birds and reptiles do -on the edge of its snout to cut its way out. The tooth is then shed - that was its only function.

The 5mm long hatchlings “in size and actions resemble tiny fleas.”

S: “Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).

Links: Fleas

328904.  Fri May 02, 2008 8:15 am Reply with quote

From today's Science cite-track mailer:

Frogs Leap to Extinction
Caroline Ash
The causes of recently documented declines in frogs since the 1980s have been hotly debated. One vigorously promulgated hypothesis is that the decline has been triggered by climate change, which has promoted virulence in a previously saprophytic fungus. An orthogonal view is that the decline reflects the spatiotemporal spread of an invasive fungal disease. In either scenario, the fungus is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which colonizes frog skin and suffocates the amphibians. The declines have been particularly noticeable among the charismatic harlequin frogs of Central and South America. Lips et al. have developed a technique to analyze the unavoidably incomplete frog census data (due to infrequent sampling, remote habitats, and sociopolitical challenges) and see wavelike progressions of population falloffs that look very much like the spread of an invasive pathogen originating from three source locales. They categorically found no relation with climate change; indeed, the fungus does best at altitudes where conditions are cool and moist.

S: PloS Biol. 6, e72 (2008).

334400.  Mon May 12, 2008 5:01 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
When you hear a frog in the background of a Hollywood film, you are almost certainly hearing the Pacific Tree Frog - because it’s the only American species which produces the archetypal “ribbit” sound. No matter where the film is set, no matter how out-of-place the sound might be, “ever since the days of the first talking pictures” film-makers have used the Pacific Tree Frog’s voice.
S: “Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).
Links: Films, Fakes

Interestingly, whenever you see a man in a bumblebee suit (like John Belushi) I reckon they are dressed as the White-Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum).

S: Own observations.

347308.  Thu May 29, 2008 8:31 am Reply with quote

Are we too late for frogs now? post 346520 has a link to a frog that has no tadpoles but gives birth to live young.

347359.  Thu May 29, 2008 9:25 am Reply with quote

Well, it doesn't really "give birth." The frogs still lay eggs, it's just that these eggs hatch into small froglets rather than tadpoles.

349044.  Sat May 31, 2008 9:16 am Reply with quote

A number of central African frogs have claws hidden entirely within their toes that can burst through their skin when they are threatened.


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