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Surinam Toad

Surinam Toad


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This large aquatic frog from the Amazon Basin is a Surinam Toad (Pipa pipa). This species can be deciphered from its closest living relative, Pipa snethlageae, by the presence of a black line dissecting the middle of its ventral surface. These cryptic frogs look like dead leaves. This helps them blend into the leaf litter covering the bottom of the waterways where they are found. Females carry their eggs on their backs. The eggs sink into a special spongy tissue and are concealed from view shortly after being placed on the females dorsum by the male. Fully formed froglets hatch out and swim out of the special spongy skin. These frogs have special structures on their fingertips that detect electrical fields produced by prey items. These organs look like small star-shaped structures on each finger tip. For this reason, these frogs are sometimes called star-fingered toads. This individual was photographed in 2007.

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