Friday, March 5, 2010

The GreenTracks Naturalist

Frogs in the Amazon

For those who admire art, spending time in the Amazon Basin is a visual treat, although the works on display tend to be alive. For the past twenty years we have taken delight in all that there is to see in the rainforest. From stunning birds to bizarre and gaudy insects to colorful frogs, it is all a visual feast. Herewith, a few of our fine froggie friends.

Amazon Horned Frog (Ceratophrys cornuta).This is essentially an animated mouth. With steel-trap jaws this predator ambushes other toads and frogs unwary enough to venture near it on the forest floor.

Napo Poison Frog (Amereega bilinguis).This frog is deceptively marked. The bright yellow spots actually help to break up the outline of this frog when it is fleeing a predator.

Amazon Clown Treefrog (Dendropsophus leucophyllata).This frog calls in enormous choruses from floating islands of vegetation.

Milk Frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix). Named owing to the milky toxins it secretes to protect itself, this is one of the few frogs that uses a water-filled tree hole for rearing its young.

Giant Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor). Frogs come in all sizes, although most are small. That's not the case with this aptly named frog, which descends from its home in the treetops only to mate and lay its eggs.

Snouted Toad (Rhinella dapsilis). Toads have a lot of personality. This rare one reminds us of an old prize fighter.

Red Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa atelopoides). One of the rarest and most unusually colored amphibians in the Amazon and, unlike its relatives, this little frog is primarily terrestrial.

Banded Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna). Like their relatives, they are able to sleep exposed on leaves in the dry canopy of rainforest. They accomplish this by protecting themselves with a waxy cuticle that effectively seals their delicate skin during the day.

Yellow-striped Poison Frog (Ranitomeya flavovittatus). This frog advertises its toxic skin via brilliant colors.

Red Poison Frog (Ranitomeya reticulata). This tiny frog looks like a jewel as it darts about in the leaf litter of upland rainforests.



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