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My favourite frog - Walk in Africa
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19 Mar

My favourite frog

I think frogs are awesome. Although we associate them with water as a group they have found many ways to be independent of water. Chiromantis xerampelina is also known as the “foam nest frog” or the “grey tree frog”.

These beautiful frog

s are often found long distances from water in the hottest conditions. Remarkably they can absorb surface water like dew, through the skin on their stomachs. And in order to avoid losing this precious water to a harsh dry environment they have special waterproofing cells on their backs. Although they are called “grey tree frogs” and their colour is often grey, when they are exposed to harsh sun radiation, they turn white in order to reflect the incident hot rays.

The Foam Nest Frog

Because they often live far from permanent standing water, these frogs wait for the rains before breeding. Frog eggs are full of nutrients and young tadpoles are vulnerable to predation from a host of creatures ranging from Dragonfly Larvae to Herons. In order to protect their vulnerable eggs and larvae, these beautiful frogs lay their eggs in a foam nest that they suspend above water. The nest looks like shaving foam hanging from a tree branch or from the bank above water and it protects the eggs and tadpoles from UV rays while keeping them moist and out of reach (hopefully) of predators. When the tadpoles have grown to a reasonable size, their wriggling breaks the bottom of the nest and they fall into the water below.

Let me know about your favourite frog.

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