Friday, April 15, 2011

Screaming Budgett's Frog

I recently picked up an amazing book, appropriately titled Astonishing Animals, by Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten. In it, they describe and illustrate little known, and often endangered species. That is how I stumbled upon today's animal, the absolutely awesome Screaming Budgett's Frog. (It it also a reference for some of this information)

Screaming Budgett's Frog in Captivity
To paraphrase Flannery, the Screaming Budgett's Frog looks like a  turd. This actually is how the frog camouflages itself in its waterside habitats. When their camouflage fails, they puff up their bodies, arch their backs, and scream (hence the name).

So they look like turds, they scream like dying cats, and they also bite! And eat each other! Picking up a Screaming Budgett's frog can result in blood being drawn, as they have two teeth-like projections in their mouths. And as for the cannibalism? After the tadpoles hatch, their primary food source is one another. They can actually swallow other tadpoles whole!

Screaming Budgett's Frogs are quite common in the northern parts of their range, but are becoming rare in the south due to habitat loss.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay
Size : Length up to 6in (15cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Anura
Family : Leptodactylidae -- Genus : Lepidobatrachus -- Species : L. laevis

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