Thursday, November 4, 2010

BULL FROG pictured eating tiny rodent alive

This danger mouse met a sticky end when crossing the path of the voracious African bull frog.

The pimpled and veiny behemoth has the self-satisfied air of one who takes pleasure in eating a hearty meal, even if it is a live rodent struggling for survival.

These carnivorous amphibians have an aggressive temper, can jump 12ft and have tooth like projections called odontoids, which are said to feel like broken glass when the bellicose beasts close their jaws.

Senior Tropical House Keeper at Newquay Zoo, Dan Garrick is an expert in feeding these greedy bullfrogs.

'They are huge predatory frogs that sit and wait for animals to pass by,' said 30-year-old Dan.

'They are stimulated by movement and will lunge at pretty much anything that comes within range, including this unlucky mouse.

'The mouse will die of suffocation or even shock before digestion.
'If the prey item is too big, the frog can simply disgorge its stomach and wait it out for the next meal.

'Despite their unsavoury dining habits they are devoted parents and will guard spawn and tadpoles from predators.

'They even excavate pools to ensure their brood doesn't dry out.'
African bullfrogs, or Pyxicephalus adspersus in Latin, prey on insects, rodents, birds and are even known to become cannibalistic and overpower other frogs.

A single individual can weigh up to two kilograms, reach 24 cm long and grow a watertight cocoon to stop itself from drying out in the unforgiving African sun.

African bullfrogs are found throughout southern, central and eastern Africa and are second only in size to the almighty goliath frog from the Cameroon.

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