Frogs and toads are among the most diverse creatures on earth, and while your average green frog or brown toad might be common as mud, there are some seriously weird ones out there. We’ve found five freaky frogs you’ve got to see to believe.
Let’s start with a frog that has nothing to hide – the glass frog. This nocturnal little tree-dwelling fellow lives in the humid forests of Central and South America, and make no secret of where their name comes from. The skin on the underside of their bodies is translucent, and in many species the glass frogs’ internal organs, and even a beating heart, can be seen. The barely-there skin helps them blend into the forest, and makes for quite the spectacular sight.
Image source: dendroboard
Ornate Horned Frog
Now for a frog of less dainty girth. Affectionately know as the Pac-Man frog, the ornate horned frog is just that – a bulbous, virtually spherical body that’s all mouth (with an appetite to match). Not ones for exercise, they’re a sit-and-wait ambush predator, often lurking on the ground or in leaf debris in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. With chops as wide as its head and a tongue to rival Jabba the Hutt, the ornate horned frog can swallow lizards, snakes, rodents, birds, large insects or fellow frogs in a mere gulp or two.
Image source: arachnoboards
From the fat to the flat – the world’s flattest amphibian, in fact. Introducing the Surinam toad. Somewhat resembling road kill, this frog’s unusual shape helps it hide in the streams of the Amazon River Basin of South America. Perhaps even freakier than its flatness is its reproductive strategy. After the female lays eggs, the male attaches them to her back. They sink into her skin and form pockets where the larvae become tadpoles, eventually emerging from Mum’s back as fully developed toadlets. Don’t believe us? Check out this video from national geographic.
The Hip Pocket Frog
Now for one of our own. The Hip Pocket Frog is only found in Australia and is sometimes called the Male Marsupial frog for it’s kangaroo-like behaviour of carrying its young in pouches. It has two openings, one on each hip, where tadpoles develop. They wriggle in there after hatching, emerging 7 to 10 weeks later as froglets.
Image source: http://frogs.org.au/
The award for best daddy daycare however might have to go to this guy – the Darwin’s frog. Native to the forest streams of Chile and Argentina, the weird thing about this frog is that its tadpoles develop inside the vocal sac of the male. The female Darwin’s frog lays up to forty eggs, which the male ingests. He carries the tadpoles around as they hatch, and feed off their egg yolks and secretions produced by the sac until metamorphosis. At this stage he coughs them up as full-fledged frogs, ready to face the outside world. Check him out in this video!