Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Creature 294: Notaden bendetti

A frog without water

Notaden bendetti can be called the Crucifix toad or the Holy cross frog. It is a smallish frog with a cross like color pattern on its back.

Their endemic range is a classic boom/bust ecosystem. It is usually dry with occasional flooding rains causing living thing to spring into action and reproduce before their habitats dry up again. This type of ecosystem is problematic for amphibians, who rely of water for at least part of their life-cycle. These guys get around the problem by burrowing under the ground and building themselves a sort of cocoon in which they wait for rain. When it does rain they quickly emerge, breed and lay their eggs. The new generation grow to adulthood within a few weeks to take advantage of the short window of opportunity provided by rain.

These toads also produce a strong adhesive glue when threatened. We are not actually sure what this is for, but it is very strong.

The Crucifix toad is endemic to the eastern desert biological region of Australia.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Myobatrachidae
Genus: Notaden
Species: Notaden bendetti 

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