Lake Titicaca Frog facts and data. Know Lake Titicaca Frog weight-reduction plan, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and many others See fascinating facts of Lake Titicaca Frog in our animal facts archive.

Scientific identify: Telmatobius culeus
Scientific classification:
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Leptodactylidae

What does it appear to be? Adult Lake Titicaca frogs may be up to 50 cm lengthy and 1 kg in weight. The head is broad, with giant bugeyes. The coloration varies significantly. Some are olive inexperienced with a pearl-coloured abdomen, whereas others are very darkish, virtually black, with white undersides. The most distinctive function is the very unfastened pores and skin, which hangs in giant pleats and folds across the animal’s neck, legs, and abdomen.

Where does it stay? This frog is present in Lake Titicaca, an enormous lake excessive within the Andes on the border between Peru and Bolivia. The frog is discovered within the shallower components of the lake, amid the reed beds and the opposite sheltered areas close to the shore.

Characteristics

Lake Titicaca is the very best navigable lake on the earth, and with an space of greater than 8,300 sq. km, it is usually very giant. Due to the good altitude at which this lake is discovered, the oxygen ranges in its waters are very low, so low actually that a number of the animals residing on this lake have advanced some exceptional diversifications. Most well-known of all of the lake’s inhabitants is the Lake Titicaca frog, an amphibian that's discovered solely on this lake and solely in its shallower reaches. As frogs go, the Lake Titicaca selection is kind of a specimen. There are experiences of grownup frogs measuring greater than 50 cm lengthy, tipping the scales at greater than 1 kg. In many respects, the Lake Titicaca frog is very like some other frog. It has a squat physique, a large head, and properly-developed hind limbs with webbed digits. What is uncommon about this animal is its pores and skin. Its protecting is a unfastened, saggy affair, and across the stomach, legs, abdomen, and neck, the flaccid pores and skin falls into folds giving the animal a quite unsavory look. When it was first found by two adventurers throughout an 1876 expedition, it was labeled with the Latin identify Telmatobius coleus. This interprets as “aquatic scrotum” and is a tongue-in-cheek description of its look. As unpleasant as it might be, the Lake Titicaca frog is completely suited to life within the oxygen-poor waters of the lake. It not often breathes utilizing its lungs however will get many of the oxygen it wants through diffusion across the moist floor of its pores and skin. The wrinkling and creasing of its protecting tremendously will increase the floor space accessible for diffusion, permitting the animal to make the very many of the restricted amount of life-giving oxygen dissolved within the water. With the oxygen diffusing into its physique and the carbon dioxide heading out into the water, the frog additionally requires an environment friendly means for the transport of these gases. The pink blood cells tumbling by way of the amphibians vessels are the smallest of all of the amphibians, and they include probably the most hemoglobin. As these smaller cells with their oxygen gripping hemoglobin may be extra tightly packed throughout the veins and arteries, adequate oxygen may be shunted across the physique to provide the animal’s calls for.

These physiological diversifications to surviving in Lake Titicaca are spectacular, however sometimes they don't seem to be sufficient, and the frog has to resort to behavioral technique of acquiring extra oxygen. Resting on the underside in shallow components of the lake, the frog engages in what can solely be described as push-ups. These aren’t amphibian aerobics, however the frog’s means of creating small water currents round its saggy skinned body. The push-up-powered fl ow of water will increase the speed at which oxygen diffuses into the animal’s blood stream and is one other ingenious means during which these frogs have tailored to the robust surroundings of Lake Titicaca.

Key Facts

  • The Lake Titicaca frog is one among 40 associated species, all of that are present in South America.
  • The Lake Titicaca frog is the biggest actually aquatic frog. Its lungs are very a lot lowered and are of little use in gasoline change, though they can be utilized when the frog surfaces.
  • To the native people who stay on the shores of the lake and the factitious reed islands, the frog has all the time been a supply of marvel. As the frogs usually come to the floor when it rains, they've typically been revered as rain makers with divine powers. During instances of drought, an grownup frog is captured and placed inside a ceramic pot.
    The pot is taken to a hilltop and deserted. Its plaintive calls are mentioned to carry rain, and if a deluge does arrive, the urn fills with water, releasing the captive amphibian.
  • The frog’s giant dimension additionally makes it a horny supply of protein, and it's a in style food in Bolivia and Peru. Recently, a worrying development has developed involving a drink referred to as frog juice. This is an easy, however grisly beverage involving a Lake Titicaca frog stripped of its pores and skin, some honey, a neighborhood tuber, water, and a blender. Allegedly, the pureed frog drink is a potent aphrodisiac. The frog can be thought to be one thing of a remedy-all. Small ones are swallowed complete to remedy a fever, and bigger ones are tied to a fractured limb to act as residing poultice.
  • Many relations of the Lake Titicaca frog are additionally susceptible or endangered due to overhunting for his or her supposed aphrodisiac qualities.
  • At these lofty altitudes, the ultraviolet shielding supplied by the earth’s environment is way lowered. The pores and skin on the again of a Lake Titicaca frog is often darkish, which offers a certain quantity of safety from this probably damaging radiation.
  • Although the frog is a protected species, exploitation has had a drastic impact on its numbers. Very giant specimens are infrequently seen as we speak, and what populations stay have shrunken significantly.
  • Depending on the place they're present in Lake Titicaca, the frogs fluctuate tremendously in coloration, main some scientists to imagine that the lake was really house to a number of subspecies of frog. In precise truth, comparability of DNA has proven all of these coloration varieties are the identical species.