Frog defense: hiding, fighting, or both

Why Evolution Is True

JAC: Instead of “Readers’ Wildlife” today, we’ll have a report on frogs by Greg Mayer, who’s just visited Costa Rica.


by Greg Mayer

Although quite cryptic on the forest floors it calls home, the smoky jungle frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) in the photo below is too obvious to be a candidate for “spot the frog”. This large species of frog (reaching over a 150 mm in snout-vent length) sports what in the military would be called “defense in depth”– a series of defensive behaviors and adaptations that help the frog avoid becoming someone else’s meal. The one in the photo below I encountered at the Lapa Rios Ecolodge, near the tip of the Osa peninsula, on my recent trip to Costa Rica.

Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactlyus pentadactylus), Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa, Costa Rica Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactlyus pentadactylus), Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa, Costa Rica

It was a large individual (well over 100 mm), and we found it at…

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