25
Sep
08

Freudian Froggy!

Since no one even came close, including several people I discussed it with via e-mail, I’ll publish this one early, the mystery animal I showed a partial photo of on Wednesday is, in fact, a very unique creature. It has one very interesting feature not found in any other species (except for one other of the same genus) of frog and it is also one of the very few species that do not vocalize, probably because they live near fast-flowing streams. This also may be part of the reason for the really neat feature which makes this frog so very special. It lives in the northwest corner of North America, and it is the only known frog species that reproduces in a way that would make all other frogs jealous. The answer is:

Ascaphus truei, the Coastal Tailed Frog. It is called the “tailed” frog, not because it has a tail, but the males of this species have something that LOOKS like a tail. It’s an extension of the cloaca that functions as a penis. During the 2006 Herpetological Research Group Convention, a grad student was presenting research on the reproduction of this species (specifically sperm storage) and the copulatory organ actually inflates considerably during mating. Perhaps this functions to hold the male to the female while mating and internal fertilization serves to allow fertilization of eggs within the fast-moving streams associated with this species’ habitat. One other species of Ascaphus has been identified, but since this is the more well known of the two, I figured I’d post this one. Here’s the complete picture.

Does the riddle make sense now?

I don’t have very large lungs, probably to sink in the stream.

It lives in fast flowing waters and relies upon buoyancy to stay neer the bottom of the stream, so it has reduced lung size and rather breathes through its skin.

I don’t have any songs, like most of my order sing.

Most species of frogs vocalize.

I do, however have one thing, Freud may think they are all envious of, from which I get my common name.

Penis envy, Freud, come on…

Also, the scroll over text title was “Små grodorna is completely wrong.” If you would have just googled Små grodorna, you would have gotten this as the first link. I thank (curse) my girlfriend’s Swedish family for introducing me to that song…

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1 Response to “Freudian Froggy!”


  1. 1 Stacy S.
    September 26, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I knew it all along! 😉


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