9f1dce03605777e1dd720d5b2dac06d6 DARWIN’S FROG
Darwin’s frog was named after Charles Darwin, who discovered this unique creature living in Argentina and Chile, while on his famous world voyage.
Darwin’s Frog is a very cleverly adapted frog. It camouflages itself from predators by lying on the ground looking like a dead leaf (it has a pointy nose giving it a leaf shape). It can also turn on its back exposing the boldly patterned surface of its belly. The most amazing feature of this frog however, is that the tadpoles develop into frogs inside the male frog’s throat!
First, the female lays her eggs in the water. The male guards the eggs for 2-3 weeks but still, about half are eaten by insects and other predators. Any eggs that actually make it to the tadpole stage (usually about half) are swallowed by the male, who carries them around in his vocal pouch and protects them as they grow.
Once the tadpoles are tiny froglets, and large enough to protect themselves, they hop out of dad’s mouth and swim away. What a clever and unique way to protect your babies!
But sometimes clever adaptations like this are not enough.
There are two species of tadpole-swallowing frogs. Rhinoderma darwinii is considered vulnerable and Rhinoderma rufum is considered critically endangered.
The vulnerable status of these frogs seems to be due to several reasons including deforestation, habitat loss, climate change and disease.
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Last week I visited the Year Fours of Amity One Block, Hillarys Primary School, and what a great time we all had.
I was super impressed with the quality of questions the children came up with and we had HUGE fun creating our own froggy character.
There were so many fantastic entries to our colouring-in competition and what a talented bunch of kids they turned out to be!. It was almost impossible to pick a winner – so we picked 2!
And here they are!
Congratulations Bellamy and Jack – joint winners of the Hillarys Primary colouring comp!
I particularly liked how Bellamy added a soccer ball (how did you know Darcy likes playing soccer?) and Jack’s brilliant addition of a bookshelf and Darcy Moon book – love it!
Congratulations to everyone who entered, and thanks again for having me come visit your classroom.