Frogs are one of the most underappreciated amphibians on earth. So far, there are just about over 6,000 species of these little guys discovered so far. Scientists believe that there are more frogs to be discovered out here, and sure enough, every day, new frogs are discovered. As more frogs are discovered, so do we learn that there is more to them than just slimy jumpers with super large eyes. Frogs have proved to be very adaptive to their environment and to the surprise of many, some of the best parents on earth. Of the frogs discovered so far (like these ten unusual frogs), these 10 have proved to be just something else.
The Darwin Frog (Scientific name: Rhinoderma darwinii)
Whenever you hear the name Darwin, survival for the fittest is not far away. Charles Darwin discovered the small leaf-shaped frog in the 1800s. He found out that the frog has the world’s best dads. When the females give birth to the young ones, the male waits for them to hatch then swallows them to store them in his vocal sac until they have become full-grown frogs. The month-long wait is long, and the little ones sometimes grow so big that they displace the poor dad’s organs.
The males’ perseverance is the most interesting because they have to remain puffed throughout that time. When the young ones are grown enough, he seeks out the right spot to spit them out so they can live on their own. The best dads in the world are natives of North and Southern Chile, although the Chytrid fungus has since wiped out their Northern cousins.
The Moss Frog (Scientific name: Theloderma corticale)
As the name suggests, this frog looks just like a patch of moss on a tree or rock. It is popularly known as the Vietnamese moss frog because it is native to the rainforests of Vietnam. They spend most of their time in flooded spots and rock crevices. They are masters of camouflage able to hide perfectly in plain sight because they look just like moss. Their bodies are covered in green and black spots with a visible spine, just like most frogs. The also “whisper” when talking to one another with sound going just a distance of four meters.
The Hairy Frog (Scientific name: Trichobatrachus robustus)
This is one of the most interesting frog species on earth because of its appearance. It is not necessarily warm-blooded; it just has hair on its thighs and abdomen. The hairs are called papillae and act as an extra set of gills, increasing the frog’s blood supply during mating season. The hairs are, however, just the tip of the iceberg. This frog, native to Cameroon, can break its own bones and release claws just like a wolverine, which is why it is also called the wolverine frog.
Hunters in Cameroon hunt the species for food, which is why the defence mechanism is actually necessary. The hunters, however, use long spears and machetes to kill the frogs to escape their sharp claws. This frog is a wonder of the animal kingdom because no other creature can break bones and turn them into weapons. The process is, however, painful because the bone pierces through its skin.
The Glass Frog (Scientific name: Centrolenidae)
You will probably not see yourself through this frog, but you can see everything inside its small shiny body. They are one of the smallest species measuring up to 21 millimetres when fully grown. They are easily identifiable with their yellowish-green colour and a shiny appearance. When turned on their backs, you can see their insides, including the little red heart in some, which makes them even more adorable. They live on trees which would explain their appearance as they use it to blend in the leaves. They are native to the forests of Central and South America, with the Ecuadorian Amazon harbouring the most beautiful ones.
The Purple Frog (Scientific name: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis)
Native to India, the purple frog with its pig nose happens to be one of the most beautiful amphibians on earth. However, human encroachment on their habitat and being hunted for food have almost driven it to extinction. The frog also has some characters of rodents and pigs making it a great survivor. It lives in burrows up to a meter deep dug using its snout and powerful front legs. The purple frog rarely comes out because its small eyes can see in the dark, allowing it to identify and eat ants and termites underground. They only come out during the rainy season to mate then go back to their burrows.
The Goliath Frog (Scientific name: Conraua goliath)
The king of the frog species is the Goliath Frog native to West Africa around equatorial countries. As the name suggests, the Goliath frog is really massive. They can grow to a length of 30cm and weigh over 7 pounds, making them larger than some adult cats. The males generally grow larger than the females and tend to be fiercely territorial. Like other big frogs in West Africa, the Goliaths are also hunted for food. Scientists have realized that hunting has significantly reduced the number of males that have reached mating age. The Goliath frogs also make bad parents since they don’t stay around to watch their young after mating.
The Paedophyrne Frogs (Scientific name: Paedophryne)
Paedophyrne is the name used to describe the smallest species of frogs ever discovered. Only 6 of them have been discovered so far since 2000, and every time a new one comes up, it is smaller than the last. The smallest one found so far was discovered in 2012 and named Paedophyne amuensis. It is very tiny, measuring just 0.27 inches, meaning it can settle comfortably on a dime. The frogs are native to Papua New Guinea, where they live in the rainforests’ leaf litter. They also have weird calls, sounding almost like crickets, which is why they were very difficult to discover. These frogs are now known to the world’s tiniest vertebrate.
The Flying Frog (Scientific name: Rhacophorus nigropalmatus)
Yes, some frogs fly! Maybe not as well as birds because they don’t have wings, but the Parachute Frog of Malaysia can fly a whopping 50ft from one tree to the next. The biggest test I staying afloat, and they have just the right tools for the job. The skin between their toes and on their body can spread trapping air for them to stay afloat. The frog, which is also called Wallace’s flying frog, lives mostly on the treetops where it hunts for insects and other little animals.
The Golden Poison Dart Frog (Scientific name: Phyllobates terribilis)
You’ve probably heard of poisonous frogs, but none gets as poisonous as the golden dart. It is tiny but very beautiful, although the shiny colour is not meant to welcome spectators. The tiny frogs measure between 2cm and 6cm, but each one carries enough venom to kill 10 men, making them probably the most poisonous animal in the world. They are found in the Colombian rainforests and were used by the native tribes to poison their darts used for hunting. Once the poison comes into contact with your bloodstream, you are immediately paralyzed. The venom also remains potent for a whole year after being extracted from the frog.
The Tomato Frog (Scientific name: Dyscophus)
This is another cute frog that you can’t help but admire. In the Eastern rainforests of Madagascar, you are likely to find a rather shapeless looking 2-3 inch tomato in the undergrowth, especially around stagnant water ponds. These are actually frogs, and they are poisonous too. The males tend to be yellowish-orange while the females are reddish-orange. The females are generally larger than the males. Apart from their close resemblance to a ripe tomato, these frogs are generally normal, and they breed normally in shallow pools just like other frogs. Their pigmentation makes them less attractive to predators, especially snakes.