Wednesday, February 29, 2012

African Bullfrog

Pyxicephalus adspersus
Happy Leap Day! To celebrate, let's learn about one of my favorite "leapers," the monstrous and voracious African Bullfrog!

These frogs are some of the largest in the world, with some males weighing up to 4.5lbs! Males are larger than females, a trait that is not especially common among frogs (females are often larger). Regardless of sex, African Bullfrogs have broad bodies, short snouts, and a dull green coloration. They also have teeth in their lower jaw!

African Bullfrogs are very, very aggressive, especially when it comes time to mate. Males can get incredibly territorial, both before and after mating. Once the females lay their eggs (up to 4,000 of them!) the males stick around to guard them, fighting off any attackers. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for the young frogs is very high. Only 20% of all females will reach adulthood.

I mentioned earlier that African Bullfrogs are voracious. They will eat just about anything that they can fit in their mouth, from small insects, to mice, to birds, and even other frogs! They use those lower jaw teeth to grab on to struggling prey.

One final fact that I found really interesting is that African Bullfrogs hibernate.... but not in the way one normally thinks of. Instead of hibernating during the cold winters, they hibernate during the hot, dry summers. They burrow deep down into the soil and then develop a watertight cocoon made from dead skin. This enables them to retain fluids and not dry out during this troublesome season.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Africa
Size : Length up to 9.5in (24cm), Weight up to 4.5lbs (2kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Anura
Family : Ranidae -- Genus : Pyxicephalus -- Species : P. adspersus


  1. They are huge. My father put his foot out towards one and it took most of his foot into its mouth. We all got a bit of a fright, but the shoe saved the foot and the bullfrog obviously did not like the taste of shoe!! Diane

  2. What a good idea the hibernation during hot, dry summers! Love animals, such a great teachers.
    By the way, fabulous blog!


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