At first impression, a horror frog sounds like something you need to be scared of. They sound like the terrifying version of a little frog. When in reality, a horror frog is just another frog having one terrifying characteristic.
When threatened, a horror frog deliberately breaks its bones to form claws which it uses for both defense and offense. This is a trait known only to this animal, and none else. The salamander can do something similar with its rib bones, but the horror frog, also known as the hairy frog. It takes this trait to a whole new level.
In this article. We will tell you about the habitat of a horror frog, its specifications, and what makes it so unique.
The habitat of a horror frog
The horror frog (Trichobatrachus robustus), also known as the wolverine frog. They lives in warm, humid forests mostly found in African countries. It is the lone species in its genus, Trichobatrachus. The hairy frog has a hairy exterior mostly over its bellies and tops. They mostly found in Central Africa and might see in a few regions in Japan.
These frogs belong to the Athroleptidae. In which the male breed has hair along the whole body, especially on its thighs.
Description of a horror frog
A horror frog is 11 cm long from the length of the snout. The male breed appears much longer as compared to the female, and these frogs feed on slugs, myriapods, and spiders.
The male frog has dermal papillae over their bodies that appear specifically during the breeding season. The existence of these papillae stayed a mystery for many years and now believed to help the frogs breathe better. They are just like oxygen tanks for human beings. Just like these tanks absorb and preserve oxygen for later use, the hair on a male frog’s body does the same thing.
Another trait of horror frogs is that while they live on land more than in water. The coupled breed returns to the water in order to lay eggs. It believed that the female frog dies after laying the eggs, while the male breed stays and protects them till they hatch. When the male frog runs out of oxygen underwater, it uses the stored oxygen to breathe.
Belonging to the Amphibia family, the horror frog has an order of Anura. Besides their hairy appearance and black spots covering their entire body, a horror frog has another trait that distinguishes it from the others. This trait is the retractable claws it uses when threatened.
Claws of a horror frog
Yes, hairy frogs do have claws. But the correct term to use would that they produce their own claws with bones rather than having built-in claws made of keratin. These bones hidden beneath their skin and attached to bony nodules by thick pieces of collagen.
When a horror frog threatened, it forces these claws out of its skin and in the form of sharp slashes. What is more, these claws are extendible to a certain amount after which they can retracted.
One misconception about horror frogs is that the claw they produce broken after use and the bones regenerate to form new claws. When in reality, it isn’t the bones that regenerate, rather it is the skin covering the bony claws that grow to cover them so the bones remain hidden until later use.
Another theory still being studied is whether a horror frog retracts its claws itself or they go back into the skin after a certain period of time.
When does a horror frog use its claws?
A horror frog uses its claws when its life threatened. Also, the male breed uses these claws to protect the female eggs while underwater as a form of offense from other creatures. Other than that, they use these claws to climb rocks and swim further.
Are horror frogs dangerous?
Even though horror frogs have claws like none other, they are only small frogs in the end. Besides, they hunted in the places they live in by humans, which indicates that they aren’t as terrifying as may seem. That being said, there is absolutely no need to unnecessarily provoke a hairy frog merely for fun. That is inhumane and highly disrespectful.
The population of horror frogs
There already aren’t many places you can find this specie. First seen in the Republic of Congo somewhere in the 1900s, these frogs still have many secrets that need to unravel. However, this no longer seems possible for too long as the amphibian rapidly hunted, roasted, and eaten by people around them. If this goes on, the horror frog said to become extinct in the coming years.
The horror frog is one of the many wonders of this world. It possesses traits unknown to other animals, or so humans believe. There aren’t many horror frogs in the world, and the few that are left hunt down by Cameroon people using spears and machetes.