Wild Fact #784 – A Whole New Look at Cannibalism – Darwin’s Frog

Photo by Mono Andes

If you know me or as you may have picked up from the first 200 and some posts, I admire and respect the founder of evolution, Charles Darwin.  Therefore it only makes sense that I would respect and admire Darwin’s Frog, which just happens to be named after the famous naturalist.  Maybe this isn’t a good reason to admire this frog but nonetheless I think it is a pretty cool species and should entertain you on this beautiful Tuesday.

Darwin’s Frog is native to the streams found meandering through the forest of Argentina and Chile.  For my Geographically challenged friends, this is in South America.  This particular frog is fairly small ranging in size from 2.5 – 3.5 cm (0.9-1.4″) and slightly resembles a leaf.  As you can imagine this “leaf-like” look isn’t just a fashion statement.  Being so small these frogs will have numerous predators so when these dangerous beasts come looking for them, they simply hold perfectly still.  If the frog is lucky then the predator will assume it is just a leaf lying in the forest litter and will continue on its way letting Darwin’s Frog live for another sunrise.

I mentioned earlier that I admired and respected these little frogs.  You might have a greater appreciation for these guys when you find out about their brooding behaviour.  Usually, frogs will lay their eggs somewhere in their pond and just let them hatch on their own.  Darwin’s Frog dares to be different though. The female will lay about 30-40 eggs in which the male frog will guard until they hatch into tadpoles (about 2 weeks).  The male guarding the eggs may be different but it only gets weirder from here on out.  Once the eggs hatch the male will put all of the survivors in his mouth, well actually inside of his enlarged vocal sac, and keep them there until they are about half an inch long.  When they are ready they will simply hop out of their dad’s mouth.  Bizarre, eh? Now do you see why I like Darwin’s Frogs?

I hope you enjoyed today’s fun frog fact. Have a great day!

4 Responses

  1. nothingprofound 8 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 8 years ago
  2. Joan 8 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 8 years ago

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