Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gastric-Brooding Frog

Gastric-Brooding Frog regurgitating her young
There were once two species of Gastric-Brooding Frog; two remarkable creatures with a unique trait that went extinct as recently as the 1980s. At the time of their disappearance both species had very limited ranges in Queensland, Australia. The exact cause of their extinction is not completely understood, but habitat loss, disease, and illness most assuredly played their parts. The last Gastric-Brooding Frog was seen in 1981, and unsuccessful searches have been carried out to locate them since them.

What makes Gastric-Brooding Frogs so special is that they were the only Frogs in the entire world that incubated their eggs inside the mother's stomach. That's right, after laying her eggs, and having them fertilized by a male, the female frog swallows them all. During the 6 to 7 week incubation period the female does not eat. This is what keeps her from completely digesting her offspring.

Also amazing is the fact that the offspring go through a complete metamorphosis at this time. They never live as Tadpoles in the outside world, having moved through that process in the mother's stomach. When she regurgitates them, the young frogs hop away on their own and have no further contact with their parent.

IUCN Status : Extinct
Location : Australia
Size : Length up to 2in (5cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Anura
Family : Myobatrachidae -- Genus : Rheobatrachus -- Species : R. silus, R. vitellinus

1 comment:

  1. "When she regurgitates them, the young frogs hop away on their own and have no further contact with their parent."

    I'm not surprised!


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