The largest frogs in the world dig their own pools for posterity

The Cameroonian gorliath frog against the background of most of its relatives looks like a real colossus, for which it received its nickname. An adult person grows up to 34 centimeters in length and weighs up to 3.3 kg. Although these unusual creatures have long been known to science, their reproductive behavior remained a mystery to researchers. Recently, scientists finally found out how huge frogs take care of their own offspring - it turned out they are building their own personal pools.

Most frogs spawn wherever they want: on leaves, on branches, sometimes just on the ground. However, the attention of the research team was attracted by the peculiarity of the relief over a 400-meter stretch of the Mpula River bed in western Cameroon. Every now and then they came across dips in coastal rocks, neatly cleaned of silt, gravel and other debris.

Some of these "pools" were empty, but in others the tadpoles frolicked with might and main. Very quickly, scientists realized that they had stumbled upon the nests of goliath frogs. In total, they found 22 potential nests, in 14 of which caviar was already laid - up to 3, 000 eggs each. Somewhere, the tadpoles were very different in size, which indicates the reuse by the female of the notorious “pools”. It also turned out that at night, parents guard their masonry from predators.

Probably, in the process of creating such a nest, the male has to dig a reservoir up to a meter wide, while moving a mass of stones, sand and earth weighing up to 2/3 of its own weight. Some materials, such as clay, are used to strengthen the walls of the pool. For frogs, this is an unexpected and very impressive effort to create the most comfortable conditions for their offspring, scientists say.


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