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Rainforests of the World 

May 22, 2010

Baby Frogs!

The frogs in our rainforest have been very hoppy as of late. We have been fortunate to breed several species that are on exhibit in the rainforest. Most of our breeding groups are kept in our back of house areas. The reason for this is that frog breeding is easiest to encourage in an area that we have total control of. Environmental parameters like dry/wet cycles, hot/cold cycles, humidity changes etc. are adjusted to get our frogs going.

One of our favorite frog species is the Asian Horned Frog (Megophrys nasuta). The frog is called “horned” because of their supraciliary projections (cool science word for the long tips of skin over the eye brows and extending beyond the nose). These projections help the frog blend in with leaves and debris on the forest floor where it lives. Here is a picture of our Asian Horned frogs:

Megophrys nasuta

Photo copyright of: Brian Freiermuth

We got these frogs to reproduce by providing a long misting cycle after some minor conditioning. It is easy to get this species to engage in amplexus (the typical frog grasping behavior where the male rides around on the female’s back) but successful egg laying and fertilization is more difficult. We were fortunate to get this to happen. The result was thousands of surface feeding tadpoles:

Megophrys nasuta tadpoles

Photo copyright of: Brian Freiermuth

It can take up to 18 months before Asian Horned Frog tadpoles began to absorb their tails and develop limbs. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait that long to see this process:

tail absorbtion, limb development

Photo copyright of: Brian Freiermuth

tail absorbtion, limb development

Photo copyright of: Brian Freiermuth

While our remaining tadpoles and juvenile Asian Horned Frogs are being raised in our back of house areas, our adult Asian Horned Frogs can be seen on exhibit on the Borneo level. They share their display with the Wagler’s Pit Viper on the Borneo level of our Rainforest Dome, and they would love it if you would st-HOP by!

Filed under: Herpetiles — rainforest @ 3:40 pm

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