7 Unbelievable Amphibians
Here we present to you our choices for 7 Unbelievable Amphibians, appearing in various locations around the world. The Order of amphibians itself actually contains about 7,000 known species. Of these, however, roughly 90% are either frogs or toads.
These 7 Unbelievable Amphibians, and their related brethren primarily live in either temperate or tropical environments. Many of the various species also play pivotal roles in their respective habitats. Some of the species have evolved rather remarkable traits.
Vietnamese Mossy Frog
Vietnamese Mossy Frog Facts
- The simultaneously descriptive and accurate term of Vietnamese Mossy Frog serves as one of the common names for a remarkable amphibian. It also goes by alternate names, though, including the mossy frog, and Tonkin bug-eyed frog.
- Its official scientific name, however, remains that of the tongue-twisting Theloderma corticale. But by either of these various names, this amazing animal represents yet another masterpiece of evolution in the minds of many people.
- Quite fortunately, this marvel of Nature appears to be maintaining a sufficient and stable population base. This further seems to hold true throughout the entirety of its natural range. Yet, while its numbers appear stable, it nonetheless has a limited range.
- But, despite the limitations this imposes, the IUCN currently list the Vietnamese Mossy Frog as Least Concern. This status appears on the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species. Its situation remains subject to change, however.
- That’s due to the fact that it now faces several threats to its existence. Loss of habitat, due to deforestation, obviously poses a serious danger, along with the international pet trade, regrettably. Its greatest threat, though, likely consists of climate change.
Vietnamese Mossy Frog Physical Description
The incredible Vietnamese Mossy Frog attains its relative fame due to characteristics other than its sheer size. Its most notable feature, as the name itself suggests, is the presence of a dense collection of protuberances and tubercules over most of its body.
The combined effect serves as the source of its most frequently used common name. Its coloring also plays a role in that naming, however. The skin of the creature generally shows a background of green, with various colored spots and markings added to the mix.
Such an astonishing combination of natural factors makes the animal strongly resemble a clump of moss. Given its natural habitat, this provides it with a highly effective degree of natural camouflage. In fact, it’s almost impossible to spot individuals in the wild.
But speaking purely in terms of size, the Vietnamese Mossy Frog remains an average-size amphibian. It further displays a slight degree of sexual dimorphism. Overall, it averages 3.5 in (8.9 cm) in length, with females being slightly larger than the males.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Amphibia
- Order: Anura
- Family: Rhacophoridae
- Genus: Theloderma
- Species: T. corticale
Vietnamese Mossy Frog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite sadly for those who appreciate the wonders of Nature, the Vietnamese Mossy Frog only inhabits a small area of the world. More precisely, as the name implies, it mainly exists in the northern portions of the country of Vietnam, in Asia.
Reports of small populations in other regions also exist, though. These other regions include the province of Hainan, in China, and possibly Laos. Wherever the animal makes an appearance, though, it displays decided preferences for its choice of habitat.
Being semi-aquatic in nature, it requires a nearby source of water. But that’s only the beginning. Very specifically, the amphibian has only been seen on the banks of mountain streams, at elevations of approximately 3,000 ft (9.842 ft), or in flooded caves.
This truly fascinating animal evolved, like many of its brethren, as nocturnal in nature. It’s also fully insectivorous in its dietary habits. The frog primarily consumes larger insects, such as crickets, cockroaches, and moths, but will feed opportunistically.
The breeding patterns of the Vietnamese Mossy Frog also seems to be quite specific. This mainly takes place in partially flooded rock cavities. The female typically lays a clutch of 8 – 10 eggs, placed above the water. These generally hatch over a period of 7 – 14 days.
After hatching, the newborn instinctively quickly drop into the water below them. The ensuing metamorphosis from tadpole into frog typically requires around 3 months. The exact lifespan in the wild remains unknown, but estimates place it at 10 years.
Bornean Flat Headed Frog
Bornean Flat Headed Frog Facts
- The rather fascinating Bornean Flat Headed Frog constitutes an extremely unusual species of frog in the Bombinatoridae family.
- Despite its outward semblance of normality, this astounding creature actually possesses one dramatic difference distinguishing it from its relatives.
- This animal remains the only species of frog we know of that does not possess lungs.
- Scientists first discovered this incredibly rare creature in 1978. At that time only a single specimen appeared, but then we have records of a second individual 20 years later.
- Researchers discovered the lungless condition in 2008 when they found that the frog actually absorbs oxygen directly through its skin.
Bornean Flat Headed Frog Physical Description
At this time, very little information exists about the extremely rare Bornean Flat Headed Frog, yet we do know that it displays a slight degree of sexual dimorphism.
The females appear to attain a length of about 3 in (7.5 cm), while the males grow slightly smaller in size. As its name indicates, the head develops unusually flattened, and the snout stays rounded in shape.
Also, both the hands and feet of this remarkable amphibian develop completely webbed.
The overall color pattern displays as predominantly brown, with black mottling.
Species: B. kalimantanensis
Bornean Flat Headed Frog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Bornean Flat Headed Frog appears to have a severely limited zone of habitation. The remarkable amphibian appears to only inhabit a few streams in two locations in the rainforest on the island of Borneo, in Asia.
The only individuals seen to date inhabited rivers with cold, fast-moving water, and found in rather remote locations.
The surprising animal lists as Highly Vulnerable on the records of the IUCN. Its primary threat appears to be a combination of habitat degradation and outright habitat loss.
The first occurs because the waters it inhabits continue to be increasingly contaminated with toxic metals from mining processes in the area.
The second occurs due to the ongoing development of the island for man’s purposes.
Wood Frog Facts
- Due to its remarkable evolutionary adaptations, the Wood Frog has attracted great interest from researchers in recent years.
- The frog has evolved a method of surviving being partially frozen in winter. It has developed special chemical reactions in its body that allow this.
- This process prevents the total freezing of the water in its cells and bloodstream.
- As long as no more than 65% of the water in its body freezes, it survives.
Wood Frog Physical Description
The fascinating Wood Frog may range in length from about 2-2.8 in (0.8-1.1 cm). The species also exhibits a slight degree of sexual dimorphism. Females grow somewhat larger in size than the males.
The adult typically appears dark brown or varying shades of tan on their upper body. The underside is generally a pale green or yellow.
This animal also possesses the ability to alter its coloring at will as well, within the aforementioned range of colors.
Any small brownish colored frog seen in the forest is most likely a member of this species. It remains the only known species in its range with this physical appearance.
Species: L. sylvaticus
Wood Frog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The amazing Wood Frog evolved as endemic to a broad range of North America extending from the southern Appalachian Mountains all the way to Alaska.
The species is almost exclusively forest-dwelling by nature. It also primarily breeds in woodland vernal pools and freshwater wetlands. When not breeding, individuals may be in or near moist ravines, upland habitats, or freshwater swamps.
The adult Wood Frog will spend the summer and spring in these ravines, bogs, woodlands, or forested swamps. During the fall it will migrate to neighboring uplands.
This is where the majority of this species will live out the winter season. It primarily inhabits the upper layer of soil, just beneath layers of leaves.
The amphibian is principally diurnal and rarely emerges at night unless disturbed.
Indian Bullfrog Facts
- Look at the brilliantly contrasting colors of the Indian Bullfrog. It doesn’t look like it could be real, does it? This gorgeous fellow represents a relatively large and colorful species of a bullfrog.
- This unique animal remains endemic to many parts of It also now seems to be introduced into Madagascar, where people consider it an invasive species.
- This animal actually gets commercially farmed in Thailand. The Indian Bullfrog holds the classification of a species of Least Concern with the IUCN, due to its widespread habitat range, and large population.
- However, this seems likely to change, given (to no great surprise) the rapid degree of habitat loss due to human expansion in its native range.
Indian Bullfrog Physical Description
The extremely large Indian Bullfrog attains a body length of as much as 6.5 in (16.5 cm).
Its snout grows comparatively pointed in shape. The species is primarily a combination of dark yellow and olive green in color. Individuals also display random darker patches.
However, the male Indian Bullfrog will change its colors to primarily bright yellow during mating season, to attract females. The large bright blue sacs under its jaw also serve to also attract females.
The toes of this particular variety of frog remain almost completely webbed.
Species: H. tigeriuns
Indian Bullfrog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Indian Bullfrog is endemic to a wide swathe of Asia. It typically inhabits regions of freshwater wetlands, including man-made paddy fields.
Individuals most commonly inhabit bushes and holes near water.
This amphibian is carnivorous in nature. Given its size, the species primarily prey on small mammals, invertebrates, and even small birds.
This bullfrog is also principally nocturnal in behavior. The species breeds during the regional monsoon season.
The female lays great numbers of eggs. However, the mortality rate among tadpoles is high.
Hyalinobatrachium dianae Facts
- Kermit the Frog or the Hyalinobatrachium dianae represents a rather remarkable, newly discovered species of amphibian.
- Being a newly discovered species, it does not yet possess a common name. The incredible amphibian is now a member of the family of glass frogs which is quite appropriate for apparent reasons.
- To date, scientists have found and identified only six individual specimens. Understandably, very little specific data is available on this rather unique creature.
- In fact, the superficial resemblance of Hyalinobatrachium dianae to the children’s character Kermit the Frog has prompted some individuals to suggest giving the newly discovered creature a common name based upon that.
Hyalinobatrachium dianae Physical Description
The breathtaking Hyalinobatrachium dianae grows cute but tiny. In fact, the frog appears to attain a length of about1 in (2.5 cm), based upon the specimens examined to date.
The overall coloring consists of shades of lime green, with the exception of the underside.
Further, the flesh of the underside is almost completely translucent, allowing its internal organs to be fully viewed.
Species: H. dianae
Hyalinobatrachium dianae Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The astounding Hyalinobatrachium dianae appears to only exist within the foliage of Costa Rica’s rainforest.
What is more, it potentially exists at altitudes ranging from 1,300-2,600 ft (400-800 m) above sea level, and near the coast.
Fortunately, the known territory of this creature lies within areas already under protection.
As with other frog species, this animal is carnivorous and feeds on endemic insects.
Wallace’s Flying Frog
Wallace’s Flying Frog Facts
- Wallace’s Flying Frog forms a remarkable type of Moss Frog. This animal bears the name of the biologist who identified it.
- This frog does not rank as the only known aerial amphibian, but it does constitute one of the largest.
- Perhaps a new expression should be coined: when frogs fly.
- The frog’s numbers remain undetermined because few people ever see them – which is rather unfortunate because the frog displays brilliant colors.
- Much uncertainty about whether man rarely sees the Wallace’s Flying Frog because of a scarcity of numbers or its natural timidity exists.
Wallace’s Flying Frog Physical Description
Most people generally consider the Wallace’s Flying Frog to be very photogenic. The frog’s colors are bright green on the back and either yellow or pale white on the underside.
Sexual dimorphism is displayed by this amphibian, with the males being somewhat smaller than the females. Females average about 3.9 in (10 cm) in length.
It possesses oversized webbed feet that it utilizes to glide from tree to tree. The eyes grow quite large, with horizontal pupils.
The species also has big toe pads, which helps it cling to trees as it lands from its flight.
Species: R. nigropalmatus
Wallace’s Flying Frog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The incredible Wallace’s Flying Frog remains endemic to a habitat range extending from the Malay Peninsula to western Indonesia. It also only inhabits regions of the rainforest at altitudes of up to 1,970 ft (600 m).
Another habitat requirement is the local presence of either small pools of fresh water or slow-moving streams, required for breeding habits.
The animal spends the majority of its life in the trees, descending only to mate and lay eggs.
Its diet also consists entirely of a variety of small insects. Its only known natural predators are different arboreal snakes.
Limnonectes larvaepartus Facts
- The recently discovered Limnonectes larvaepartus represents a unique species of frog. This newly recognized and rather remarkable animal species also does not yet possess a common name.
- Astonishingly, this incredible amphibian also represents one of only four known varieties of a frog to develop fang-like teeth.
- Out of the 6,455 extant species of frog known to science, this one also represents one of only twelve to reproduce internally.
- To add to its distinctiveness, the Limnonectes larvaepartus also serves as the only known frog on earth to not only conceive internally but to give birth to fully developed tadpoles.
- The other species of frogs to give birth to live young deliver froglets.
Limnonectes larvaepartus Physical Description
The surprising Limnonectes larvaepartus displays a slight degree of sexual dimorphism. Overall, the species averages roughly 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in length.
However, females average slightly larger in length, whereas the males have a slightly stouter body shape. This lightweight species reaches only 0.18 oz (5 grams) in weight.
The upper portions of the body vary in color. This portion may be either brownish gray, golden tan or reddish-brown. The underbelly of the Limnonectes larvaepartus may be either cream-colored or yellowish.
Species: L. larvaepartus
Limnonectes larvaepartus Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The diminutive Limnonectes larvaepartus remains endemic only to the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, in Asia. It also remains unclear if the creature ever possessed a more extensive range.
The habitat of the rather diminutive marvel consists of a rather dense jungle, typically near streams, located amid the mountainous regions of the island.
After mating, females typically produce approximately 100 eggs. How the surprising creature achieves internal reproduction actually remains a complete mystery for herpetologists.
This occurs because the male possesses no discernible reproductive organ. Nature still holds many mysteries.
7 Unbelievable Amphibians
These 7 Unbelievable Amphibians represent only a handful of the amphibian species in the world. In addition to frogs and toads, which comprise the vast majority of the Class, others classify as either salamanders or caecilians.
Sadly, these 7 Unbelievable Amphibians and their kin also often possess extreme sensitivity to changes in climate. Given the changes today, many of these species now find themselves facing the possibility of extinction. We must do all we can to prevent this tragedy.