Bornean Flat Headed Frog Facts
- As its very name implies, the truly fascinating Bornean Flat Headed Frog constitutes an extremely unusual species of frog. This common name, in addition to being quite descriptive, remains much easier to pronounce than its cumbersome scientific name.
- That verbally challenging technical term for the animal, by which it’s better known to researchers, is Barbourula kalimantanensis. Scientists also currently place the visually highly unusual animal in the Bombinatoridae family.
- The first known official description of this marvel of nature occurred at the hands of the Indonesian zoologist, Djoko Iskandar. That recognition, however, occurred as a result of the observation of only a single individual specimen.
- This utterly amazing creature only appears to be a normal frog at first glance. In an astounding act of evolution, this species does not possess any type of lung! This make sit the only known variety of frog to possess this remarkable physical attribute.
- Researchers discovered the trait in 2008 when they found that it actually absorbs oxygen directly through its skin. Since the discovery of that single specimen in 1978, however, little else has been learned about the Bornean Flat Headed Frog.
- Experts discovered a second specimen only 20 years later, with only a handful more encountered since that time. For various reasons, including a limited habitat range, the IUCN presently lists this seemingly miraculous animal as Endangered.
- Most unfortunately, it now faces several threats to its existence. One of these comes in the form of habitat loss, much like many related species. The greatest threat it faces, however, likely consists of the ongoing effects of climate change.
Bornean Flat Headed Frog Physical Description
Given that very little information exists concerning the extremely rare Bornean Flat Headed Frog, physical descriptions can only be based on a small sampling. Since the few specimens observed all fall within a certain range, though, the data is considered accurate.
Researchers do know that it displays a slight degree of sexual dimorphism, much like many of its kindred. In its case this trait manifests itself in terms of simple physical size. Females appear to attain a length of about 3 in (7.5 cm). Yet the males remain slightly smaller in size.
As the name of the Bornean Flat Headed Frog indicates, the head also develops unusually flattened. The possession of a flattened head is further enhanced by the shape of the snout, since it stays rounded in shape. The combination makes for a distinctive appearance
Nature also provided the creature with yet another interesting characteristic. Both the hands and feet of this remarkable amphibian also develop completely webbed. Finally, the overall color pattern displays as predominantly brown, with black mottling.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Amphibia
- Order: Anura
- Family: Bombinatoridae
- Genus: Barbourula
- Species: B. kalimantanensis
Bornean Flat Headed Frog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Regrettably, the Bornean Flat Headed Frog appears to have a severely limited zone of habitation. That’s because it appears to only inhabit a few tiny streams, all found in two locations. Both sites of habitation occur in the rainforest on the island of Borneo, in Asia.
Even within this already extremely restricted area, though, it displays a strong preference for its choice of habitat. The only individuals seen to date inhabited locations with cold, fast-moving water. These also appeared in highly isolated and hard to reach locations.
Despite the relative remoteness of the region where it lives, the actions of mankind affect it. The waters in which it makes its home continue to be increasingly contaminated with toxic metal from ongoing mining processes now taking place in the adjacent areas.
For the moment, researchers known nothing specific about the life cycle of the amazing Bornean Flat Headed Frog. Its precise diet also remains undetermined. Understandably, though, it’s assumed that its pattern in this mirrors that of its multitude of related species.