‘Never judge a book by its cover’ got to the point where it’s more of a cliche than a saying. However, these Black Rain Frogs come as a reminder to do precisely that. These magnificent frogs only give the impression that they’re frowning and grumpy. They’re actually quite friendly and cute.
One Instagram user explained: “This *truly heartbroken* Black Rain Frog (Breviceps fuscus) isn’t actually sad – but just has a bit of resting sad face. Known for more than its looks, when scared the frog can puffs itself up with air to make its body more round. Kinda like a pufferfish!”
Black Rain Frogs are endemic to the southern slopes of Cape Fold Belt, South Africa. They can be found at a maximum elevation of 3,300ft (1,000m), and unlike many other amphibians, they can survive without any open water. The grouchy-looking creatures are burrowers, who live in small holes that are up to 6 inches (150mm) deep. In spite of their frowny appearance, these frogs are quite a thoughtful bunch.
During their mating season, the female Black Rain Frogs secrete a sticky substance from their backs. The substance helps males stay on top without falling during intercourse. After mating, the males stay in the burrows to guard the eggs. They make special squeaking sounds, to mark their burrow as taken. We told you they’re clever little critters!
But that’s not everything that is special about these tiny avocado-looking froggies. When they get frightened, the Black rain Frogs puff themselves up to scare off predators. This characteristic can come in as a handy defense mechanism, when they’re inside their burrows. If a predator tries to grab them, they simply puff themselves making it impossible to pull them out.
Watch BBC’s bit on these magnificent frogs here:
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