Jan 8, 2011

Frogs make desperate attempt to associate themselves with trendy bestsellers?

I know, that frog is lovely. You think there's no way it could belong on this blog. But hang on a minute.

This is a newly discovered species from Vietnam called the vampire flying frog. The "flying" part is because it can glide from tree to tree, using the unusual amount of webbing between its toes.

The other part of the name has nothing to do with the adorable adult in the picture above. It's based on a feature of the tadpoles that the original paper delicately calls "a pair of keratinized hooks on the lower labium that face away from the mouth." That is, this baby has FANGS:

Just so you know, normally, tadpoles do NOT have fangs. The scientists have no idea what function they serve. You'll be relieved to know that they don't suck blood, since tadpoles are vegetarians. Other than that, it's still a mystery. Maybe frogs are trying to stem the tide of extinction by hopping on the "Twilight" bandwagon?

But, seriously, this is freaky. In my last post we saw a mammal with scales. Now, we've got a tadpole with fangs. Don't these animals read the textbooks???

Wombat (No Relation)


Unknown said...

Some species of toad have cannibal tadpoles, while many frog species' tadpoles are insectivorous. Are they sure there's no feeding function?

wombat said...

Yes, I should say "most tadpoles are vegetarians" but I didn't want to fan the flames of hysteria. They aren't sure of anything as far as what the fangs are for, so watch your fingers!

Nature Girl, April said...

I spent my entire childhood chasing tadpoles. Never was I afraid of them! But THIS frog... well, I think I will stay away from it! :-D

Adorably Dead said...

Oh darn I got so excited, for a minute I thought the frog sucked blood. As adverse as I am about vamps, that would have been pretty hardcore. Maybe it's a defense mechicnism?

Anonymous said...

Maybe its used to hang on to something, like a rock. Black fly larva hang on in one place and let the river water flow over them essentially bringing their food right to them. In this way they grow fast and expend very little energy.

Nicole said...

I would believe that this is an evolutionary necessity for some reason. These sorts of abnormalities survive because they allow the carrier of them to survive. I am sure once studied that we will find that they are cannibalistic or that they are eating something else that is particularly difficult to eat. Good for them being different!

Danmark said...

First Of All let me commend your clarity on this subject. I am not an expert on this subject, but after studying your article, my understanding has developed considerably. Please permit me to snap up your rss feed to remain in touch with any potential updates. Solid job and will offer it on to admirers and my fans.