Fame at last for a poorly known group of African frogs...
Frogs and toads—anurans—have profoundly modified skeletons and are among the most atypical of tetrapods...
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.
As you'll know if you've been following Tet Zoo for any length of time, I've been slowly working my way through the toads of the world for the past few years - yes, all of them, more or less.
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 [...]
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.
African tree toads, smalltongue toads, four-digit toads, red-backed toads: yes, a whole load of obscure African toads
Long-time Tet Zoo readers will be familiar with the long-running series on the toads of the world. It's been running intermittently since October 2009 and is something like 50% published.
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.
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.
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).
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 [...]
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).
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.
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).