Many of you might think of frogs as being slimy. And, for the most part, you'd be correct. But frogs have lots of other characteristics like being colorful and being found nearly everywhere throughout the world. The largest species of frog is known as the Goliath frog and this hefty honey lives in the central African country of Cameroon, as well as in Equatorial Guinea. It was recently discovered that this giant frog species build ponds for their eggs and tadpoles by moving rocks up to half the weight of their body! That might not seem like much until you realize that the Goliath frog can weigh up to 6.6 pounds (just under 3 kilograms) and measure 13 inches in length (33 cm) when fully grown! Scientists believe that their heavy labor could explain their size.
"The researchers, led by a team from Berlin's Natural History Museum (Museum für Naturkunde), found that the frogs altered existing natural ponds or created new nests in small ponds, about 3 feet wide and 4 inches deep, along riverbanks in Cameroon. 'They sometimes move rocks weighing up to 2 kg (4.4 pounds). We think that this laborious activity may explain why adult frogs need to be giants in the first place,' said Marvin Schäfer, lead author of the study, in a press release."
As well as being strong, Goliath frogs are also anxious parents, nurturing their young in ponds away from torrent rivers and potential predators. "Giant frogs are the first African amphibian species now known to actively prepare or even construct breeding sites for their offspring," said Mark-Oliver Rödel, project leader and president of conservation group Frogs & Friends, in a press release. "This shows how little we know about the biology, even of some of the most spectacular creatures of our planet."
Scientists hope the research will help conservation efforts dedicated to the rare frogs, which are considered endangered. The exploitation of natural resources, shrinking habitats, as well as climate change and pollution...all man-made problems...are the main causes of the species loss. Another 40% of the world's amphibians are also considered under 'threat." These sobering statistics came from a report written as recently as May 2019 by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Humans need to realize that climate change, among other life-threatening concerns, are real and they are here, happening now. I'm a big climate change guy but I'll get off the soap box now...at least for today.
Tomorrow will be another fascinating blog with a few interesting facts about DNA. I know you won't want to to miss that! Until then, I wish you all a happy Monday,