Friday, March 13, 2009
Frightful frog f%ing
It would be wrong if this week's posts left the impression that monkeys were the only perverted animal.
Frogs mate in a position called amplexus, where the male gets on the female's back, clasps her with his legs, and hangs on, in some cases for weeks. Frogs don't fertilize their eggs internally, so he's just waiting till she releases her eggs into the water, at which point he'll add his sperm. It doesn't sound like much fun, but frogs don't know any better.
Male frogs can be so persistent about this that they drown the female. They can also engage in a sort of group sex, where more than one male climbs onto the female. Here you can see an excellent example of both phenomena, where many male frogs are still attempting to mate with a dead female wood frog.
If she does survive, scientists have shown by genetic analysis that the female may have young with different fathers in the same clutch. Of course, she doesn't stick around to see which guy the kids resemble, since most species of frogs don't care for their young.
If this doesn't sufficiently convince you of the sad state of frog society, you might want to read this scientific report on frog amplexus in microgravity, conducted at a Japanese amusement park. Yes, frogs had no shame about having sex on an amusement park ride, no doubt surrounded by innocent children.
You might as well just give in and watch this video of a frog orgy, with appropriate soundtrack.
Toads by Flickr user minipixel and Panamanian golden frogs by Flickr user Grufnik.