Monday, 10 November 2014

Creature 41: Hemiphractidae

A very creepy frog
Hemiphractidae is a diverse family of frogs commonly known as marsupial frogs. Marsupial frogs earned their name from their unusual reproductive behavior.

If you are wondering what those lumps on its back are and you are nervously thinking of the name marsupial frog you're worst suspicions are correct.  Those lumps are full of tadpoles wriggling around as they grow large enough to tear open their mothers pouch and break free. Something about that seems really creepy even thought it is not all that different from mammalian reproductive strategies. The eggs are externally fertilised, as is standard in frogs, they are then moved onto the females back by the male.

The different generea and species of Hemiphractidae develop to different stages while inside their mothers skin. Some are released into the water as eggs, while others do not leave until they complete their tadpoles phase.
To add a little bit of creepiness to these frogs, Gastrotheca guentheri (a type of marsupial frog) is the only frog with teeth on its lower jaw.

Hemiphractidae are a tropical family found in central and south America.

No comments:

Post a Comment