December 2017

Some Tree Frogs Are Mated to Death

It's difficult to tell whether or not an animal is being raped sometimes, especially when a female tries to attract a mate with some kind of sex foam only to attract a bunch of mates who have sex with her so much at all once that they drown or crush her to death. It sure sounds like rape to me, but the rules are different among different species. But wait, it gets worse.

Shovelnose Frog

It's so weird and wacky looking that it's kind of adorable. The Shovelnose frog, which hails from sub-Saharan Africa, has the face of a bitter old man whose neighbor's kids won't stay out of his azaelas, the body of a potato and spots. If that's not intriguing, what is? The frog isn't a poisonous variety, but when it's under stress it can secrete a toxic substance that's not very pleasant. 

Addiction Treatment Could Be Possible Through Frog Study

When you think of poison dart frogs, you probably think of colorful creatures who are pretty to look at, but perhaps not the best choice of animal companion. You probably don't think of them as a potential medical breakthrough, but researchers are looking at them as a potential study into human addiction treatment.

Nonnative Frogs Increase Nonnative Birds in Hawaii

The coqui is adorable, but it's not meant to be in Hawaii. My Puerto Rican Spanish teacher used to talk about the cute frog that is named after its call, but she never mentioned that it also lives in Hawaii. They were accidentally brought to the state, but more than 91,000 of them live there now where they've rapidly spread. Luckily the native bird populations haven't really changed due to the presence of the non-native frogs, but something weird has still happened.