|Image: Tnarg 12345|
All in all, their lifestyle is not dissimilar from that of other podgy, froggy burrowers like the Rain Frogs and the Purple Frog. I don't know how being spherical helps them in their subterranean life, but it sure is popular!
When the heavy rains finally arrive, Crucifix Frogs emerge from the earth to take advantage of those sweet, sweet puddles. Two really cool things happen...
Video: Australian Museum
First, tootsie luring! We've seen before the smooth, sinuous tail movements certain snakes use to attract prey. This time we get to see a frog's fidgety feet attracting insects. It's toe-tapping stuff to the music of their own rumbling belly. I just knew frogs were a bundle of fretful nerves under that motionless exterior!
Secondly, frog glue! Crucifix Frogs have lots of glands on their skin that produce a kind of sticky glue. It may be poisonous or distasteful, which would mean the bright skin colours act as a warning to predators. It also protects that same skin from the bites of ants and termites.
Some researchers managed to acquire enough of the stuff to use on the torn cartilage of a sheep. The glue hardens within seconds and remains sticky even in moist environments. It's also flexible and porous, which is great for the healing process. Remarkable! Miraculous...?
|Image: Mr tuba man88|
Under the merciless heat of the sun, the pools soon dry up and the ground bakes. The frogs retreat once again into their cool, subterranean realms deep beneath the surface. They'll stay there for months, possibly even years before the rains beckon them once more.
Who knows, maybe there's a Holy Grail Frog down there?
Thanks to Will for showing me that fantastic tootsie video!