Horned marsupial frog Facts

Horned marsupial frog Facts
Horned marsupial frog belongs to the genus Gastrotheca which includes 45 different species of marsupial frogs. These interesting animals can be found in Central and South America (Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Colombia). Horned marsupial frogs inhabit wet subtropical and tropical forests. They are equally good adapted to the life in lowland forest and forests on the altitudes of up to 3300 feet. Horned marsupial frogs are mostly threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and increased agriculture. Other than that, horned marsupial frogs are prone to chytridiomycosis, fungal disease which decreases the number of frogs in the wild. These factors placed horned marsupial frogs on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Horned marsupial frog Facts:
Horned marsupial frogs are small animals that can reach 2.8 to 3.1 inches in length.
Horned marsupial frogs have smooth skin with several transverse ridges on the back. Skin is usually pale brown, covered with dark stripes.
Horned marsupial frog has broad head and rounded snout. Front feet are not webbed. They have circular pads. Long hind legs end with partially webbed feet.
Eyes of horned marsupial frog are bronze in color. Upper eyelid ends with triangular peak (hence the name "horned").
Female has a pouch on her back which is used for development of tadpoles. That is why these animals are called "marsupial frogs".
Horned marsupial frogs are active during the night (nocturnal creatures).
Horned marsupial frogs are carnivores (meat-eaters). Their diet is based on insects and other small invertebrates.
Horned marsupial frog lives on the trees (arboreal animal). Circular pads on the feet facilitate movement through the dense canopy of tropical rainforests.
Horned marsupial frogs are very vocal animals. Males produce calls that sound like opening of the champagne bottle when they want to attract females.
Horned marsupial frogs have unique type of reproduction. Female releases the eggs from her body for the male to fertilize them (this process is called external fertilization). Once the eggs are fertilized, male puts them in the pouch on the female's backs.
Eggs are undergoing complete metamorphosis (transformation from egg to adult frog) inside the pouch. It takes 60 to 80 days for tadpoles to complete their development and turn into young frogs. Completely developed frogs will jump outside the mother's pouch into the world and start independent life.
Lack of the stage of free swimming tadpole increases the chances for survival because predators cannot find and eat tadpoles (stage in life when frogs are the most vulnerable). Even though mortality of young frogs is reduced, process of egg development exhausts female, affects her health and shortens her lifespan.
Horned marsupial frogs have the largest eggs compared with other amphibians.
Horned marsupial frogs are very old creatures. They appeared on the Earth 40 to 60 million years ago.
Lifespan of horned marsupial frog in the wild is unknown.

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