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Posts Tagged "anurans"

Tetrapod Zoology

‘Strange bedfellow frogs’ (part II): pig-nosed or shovel-nosed frogs, or snouts-burrowers

Marbled snout-burrower (Hemisus marmoratus); image by Ryanvanhuyssteen, CC BY-SA 4.0

A few weeks back – during the Tet Zoo frog event – I wrote about the peculiar African brevicipitid frogs, variously termed short-headed frogs or rain frogs. The plan when compiling that article was to write about a second group of frogs, closely related to brevicipitids. But time was short, the article became too long, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A brief introduction to reed, sedge and lily frogs

Hyperolius viridiflavus, photographed in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Nick Hobgood. Image CC BY-SA 3.0.

Here’s a very brief article to a group of frogs. It’s a slightly modified version of an article that initially appeared on Tet Zoo ver 2 during November 2007. Reed, sedge and lily frogs, or hyperoliids, are a moderately large group (containing approximately 215 species) of mostly arboreal ranoids that climb in vegetation at or [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

It’s the Helmeted water toad… this time, with information!

C. gayi, drawn from a photo. Illustration by Darren Naish.

Back in October 2007 (at Tet Zoo ver 2) I wrote a very brief article on a poorly known, gigantic, deeply weird South American frog: the Helmeted water toad, Chilean giant frog or Gay’s frog* Calyptocephalella gayi (long known – incorrectly it turns out – as Caudiverbera caudiverbera). Back in 2007, so little information was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

‘Strange bedfellow frogs’ (part I): rotund, adorable brevicipitids

Breviceps frogs are not exactly the ideal shape for normal amplexus. This is B. montanus. Photo by Abu Shawka, in the public domain.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I have the urge to write about frogs. Today we look briefly at the first of two behaviourally peculiar, anatomically surprising groups, both of which are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, both of which belong to a major neobatrachian frog clade called Allodapanura, and both of which have been united in a clade [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

There is so much more to flying frogs than flying frogs

Beautiful painting of Wallace's flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) by the unique Carel Brest van Kampen.

Episode 2 of David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies appeared on TV the other day, and I watched it (in fact, I livetweeted throughout, mostly because I wanted to talk about their portrayal of pterosaurs and Mesozoic theropods). And hence I have rhacophorid frogs on my mind – the mostly tropical Afro-Asian frog group that [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Frogs you may not have heard of: Brazil’s Cycloramphus ‘button frogs’

Things are not looking good for many of the Cycloramphus species. This is is C. boraceiensis. Photo (c) Ariovaldo Giaretta, CC BY-SA 2.5.

The world is full of frogs, and while I’ve made reasonable efforts over Tet Zoo’s nearly nine years of operation to cover some of this diversity (see the links at the bottom of this article), there are many groups that I’ve never even mentioned. Today I want to talk about the Cycloramphus ‘button frogs’, the [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Gladiatorial glassfrogs, redux

The same individual as that shown above, photographed 31 hours after a fight, and with injuries visible on his dorsal surface. Images from Hutter et al. (2013).

Readers with supernaturally good memories might remember the two articles, published here back in January and February 2013, on glassfrogs, a highly unusual and poorly known group of Neotropical frogs, so named due to their incredible translucent or transparent ventral skin. Glassfrogs (properly: Centrolenidae) are weird and fascinating for all sorts of reasons (if you [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tadpole nests, past and present

Modern impressions made by tadpoles, photographed in a drainage ditch in Tennessee in 1958, from Maher (1962). A pipe serves as a scale.

Thanks to that recent Tet Zoo article about American spadefoot toads and their tadpoles, I’ve had visions in my mind of drying ephemeral pools in hot, arid environments, crammed with crowded, gasping tadpoles. All are racing to complete metamorphosis before what remains of the water is finally gone… It’s a sad scene, replayed annually in [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

North American spadefoot toads and their incredible fast-metamorphosing, polymorphic tadpoles

There are essentially NO creative common images depicting spadefoot toad cannibalism (what the hell?), so I had to create my own. This images (based on various photos) depicts a cannibalistic encounter between a carnivore-morph Spea tadpole and an omnivore-morph one. Image by Darren Naish.

Time for more spadefoot toads (that is, members of the anuran clade Pelobatoidea or Anomocoela). This time, we’re going to look at the two North American spadefoot toad genera (Spea and Scaphiopus). Like megophryids (the horned spadefoot toads discussed in the previous article) these have, conventionally, been classified as part of the Old World spadefoot [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Parsley frogs: spadefoots without spades

Iberian parsley frog (Pelodytes ibericus). Photo by Benny Trapp, CC BY 3.0.

Anurans – frogs and toads – haven’t received enough coverage on Tet Zoo of late, so here’s one of several efforts to redress the balance. For no particular reason, in this article I want to talk about pelobatoids, also known as anomocoelans: the anuran group that (as conventionally conceived) includes spadefoot toads (Pelobatidae) and parsley [...]

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