Mountain Chicken Facts
- Most notably, of course, the Mountain Chicken obviously is not actually a chicken. In fact, this animal represents an exceptionally large type of a frog. Yes, the name is deceptive, we know.
- It also remains considered a local delicacy in most of its endemic range. The flesh reportedly tastes like chicken, hence the common name. But, this definitely does not constitute an advantageous trait.
- Rather popular as a local dietary supplement, its numbers have plummeted dramatically. Consequently, it now has protection in parts of its natural range.
- In addition, its existence continues to be threatened by habitat loss and the deadly chytridiomycosis fungus. This highly contagious fungus has decimated amphibian populations around the world.
Mountain Chicken Physical Description
Firstly, the Mountain Chicken currently ranks as one of the largest known frogs in the world.
This creature also displays a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. This is a trait common among many amphibians. Therefore, the male grows slightly smaller in size than the female, who attains a length of as much as 8.7 in (22 cm).
Its coloring also develops extremely variable since it seems Nature loves variety. Consequently, individuals may be numerous colors. These include brown, barred, or spotted on the upper body. The sides and lower body typically show a shade of orange yellow.
Additionally, the body develops robust and strongly muscled. Perhaps most noteworthy is the presence of a large spur on each of the male’s thumbs. These it uses to grasp the female during mating.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Amphibia
- Order: Anura
- Family: Leptodactylidae
- Genus: Leptodactylus
- Species: L. fallax
Mountain Chicken Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, the remarkable Mountain Chicken was once native to many islands in the eastern Caribbean. Currently, however, it now appears only on Montserrat and Dominica. While attempts have been made to reintroduce it to other islands, these have so far proven unsuccessful.
Yet, individuals will inhabit a variety of habitats, provided there is a stream nearby. These include secondary forests, plantations, scrub, ravines, grasslands, and palm groves. In addition, it prefers altitudes of no more than 1,410 ft (430 m).
This amphibians is primarily a nocturnal creature who hunts as an ambush predator. Furthermore, it has a voracious and varied appetite. Due to this, its diet is wide-ranging. It includes insects, crustaceans, and small invertebrates, including bats, snakes, and even other frogs
Finally, essentially, it will consume any prey that will fit in its mouth.