Vietnamese Mossy Frog
(image via: Wallpapers Wide)
Looking more like a warty toad than a glossy frog, the Vietnamese Mossy Frog (Theloderma corticale) has evolved a rough and mossy aspect that provides it with effective camouflage in its moist rainforest habitat. Also known as the rather less flattering Tonkin Bug-eyed Frog, this curious creature is equally at home in the trees or in the water… ideally, tropic forests with plenty of fresh water in rivers, lakes and marshes.
Found in northern Vietnam and adjacent areas in southern China, the Vietnamese Mossy Frog isn’t much of a jumper. If threatened or frightened, it’s more likely to curl into a motionless ball then to quickly hop, skip & jump away from danger.
The Hairy Frog (Trichobatrachus robustus) or Horror Frog – more on that later – is native to central Africa and is listed by IUCN as being of Least Concern… so THEY say! This unique amphibian is amazing is several different ways, the first being the clusters of hair-like filaments grown by males of the species. Initially puzzling to researchers, it turns out these filaments are filled with tiny blood vessels. The males remain submerged for extended periods, guarding eggs laid by their mates, and the gill-like organs may help the male frogs extract life-giving oxygen from pond water.
(image via: ScienceDaily/David C. Blackburn)
Now to the Horror Frog designation, or should that be “Wolverine Frog”? Like the aforementioned X-Men member, Trichobatrachus robustus can extrude sharp claws from the tips of its fingers (and toes, too). Unlike the comic book and movie character, however, the frog manages the feat by pushing the claws, which are the ends of its finger bones, through its own skin! It’s presumed that the insta-claws heal over naturally after being used though evidently no researchers have had the guts to stick around to confirm this amazing feat… or amazing feet, as the case may be.