A Case of Extremely Bizarre Parenting: Darwin’s Frog

A Case of Extremely Bizarre Parenting: Darwin's Frog
via: veoverde.com
via: especieschilenas.blogspot.com 
© Jose Luis Saavedra
Habitat: native to the forest streams of Chile and Argentina
Status: Vulnerable
Charles Darwin was lucky enough to discover this incredible frog during his world voyage on the HMS Beagle. For that reason, it has his name. This is Darwin’s Frog (Rhinoderma darwini), a bizarre creature that only reaches a size of  2.5–3.5 cm. These frogs can be either brown or green but all of the males possess a peculiar parenting trait that makes it one of the coolest amphibians in the world.
Take a look at the animation below. The alien-like motion is due to tadpoles moving about in the male’s vocal pounch! What happens is, the female will lay around 30 eggs and then the male stands guard for about two weeks until they hatch. Then, he scoops the survivors into his mouth where they develop inside his vocal pouch. The tadpoles develop in their baggy chin skin, feeding off their egg yolk. When the tiny tadpoles have developed (about half an inch) they hop out and swim away!

Here’s a drawing to illustrate exactly what it looks like in there. Pretty amazing stuff, huh?