Darwin’s frog is a rare animal discovered by naturalist Charles Darwin in the remote forest areas of Chile.
This yearbook has unique characteristics that make us want to learn everything about its nature, food, behavior, reproduction, among other details.
Characteristics of Darwin’s Frog
Darwin’s frog is a rare amphibian, scientifically named Rhinoderma darwinii, and is a member of the large Rhinodermatidae family.
This rare and exotic amphibian is moderately small in size.
But, it is important to take into account that in some cases the size in males is directly related to the seasonality of temperature in a beneficial way.
Males have an average size of between 22 and 28 mm, while the female is larger, measuring approximately 25 to 31 mm in length.
The Darwin’s frog has thin and elongated limbs. On the hind legs it has a tiny membrane in the middle of the I, II, III toes, and lacks it on the IV and V toes.
The appearance of this frog’s head is triangular with a slightly pointed snout and a cylindrical nasal appendage.
The skull of this amphibian is scarcely calcified.
This strange animal does not have a standard pigmentation, but this can vary from green with brown shades to black with white males.
The skin on its back is smooth and at the same time a little granular with a glandular lateral fold.
Another very peculiar characteristic of this frog is that it produces a high song similar to that of some birds.
Darwin’s frog is a very active animal during the daytime, when it loves to bask in the sun.
As defense mechanisms it uses its coloration, in addition, it remains motionless to prevent the predator from knowing of its presence and sometimes it simulates its death by rolling on its back.
By the way, its name “Darwin’s frog” was assigned in honor of the well-known English naturalist Charles Darwin, who discovered it during his trip to the woodlands in Chile.
What is their habitat?
These exotic rare animals live in swampy areas of the temperate and native forests, which have low temperatures and altitudes less than 1,500 meters above sea level.
They also predominate in areas along quiet streams where leaf litter is abundant, benefiting their camouflage from predators.
This frog is an endemic species of Chile and Argentina (only in areas bordering Chile). Geographically we can find it in the archipelago of Chiloé in Chile, and in the provinces of Neuquén and Río Negro in Argentina.
Currently its population has decreased considerably due to the destruction of its natural habitat by deforestation, logging and changes in climate.
What Darwin’s frog feeds on?
This strange amphibian is carnivorous and feeds during daylight hours.
It has a surprising technique for hunting its prey: at the moment it locates it, it remains motionless at a considerable distance which makes its work easier.
Once its prey has gained confidence, it makes a quick attack to capture it and bring it inside its mouth.
This amphibian usually chooses small invertebrate animals that fall into its trap, including insects, worms, snails and spiders.
Darwin’s frog’s way of reproducing
These animals emit singular sounds when the months of November to March arrive, a period where their reproductive process begins.
It all starts with the male looking for his mate. Once he gets the female he performs the courtship and then the mating act.
The female deposits around 40 eggs of 4 millimeters each, between the leaves to be fertilized by the male.
From then on, it is the male who takes care of the eggs while they grow. After about 20 days, the embryos begin to show signs of activity.
At this point the father carries them inside his vocal sac, which expands from his throat, through his belly, and into his groin.
He uses his tongue to carry them to the vocal sac. There they will remain until they are fully developed.
We must take into account that during this stage the male must arrange his organs in such a way that his offspring can develop optimally inside them.
The offspring will feed on a special substance that their organism creates and in which all the necessary nutrients for the correct development of the offspring are abundant.
Once their growth is complete, the small frogs begin to move away from the sack so that the male’s organs can return to normal.
What are your predators
Although it has several defense mechanisms, it cannot always go unnoticed by its predators, a list headed by some birds, rodents and snakes.