lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

P is for Paradox Frog

Paradox Frog


Paradox frog 1

The paradox frog lives in lakes in the middle of South America. Unlike most frogs it stays in water most of the time and doesn’t just breed there.

It doesn’t croak, it has a oink-y sort of a call; but this isn’t unusual, if they have a call, most frogs don’t croak, they use a variety of noises from grunts to squeaks to whistles and chirps.

The thing that makes paradox frogs paradoxical is that they lay eggs that hatch into huge (up to 24 cm) tadpoles, which end up shrinking instead of growing into small (up to 6cm) frogs.

Scientists have no idea what evolutionary advantage this could bestow.

All I can think of is if the adults are carnivorous and they all live in the water, it might save the young from being eaten while still vulnerable.

These frogs are quite numerous – but 41% of amphibians are endangered.

And frogs in North, Central and South America, Eastern Australia, and Dominica and Monserrat in the Caribbean are being affected by the chytridiomycosis fungus.

This fungus has wiped out whole species. Scientists are still unsure how this has happened – the fungus was found first in a toad that has been used for research all round the world, and this could be one way the fungus has spread.

Chytridiomycosis is naturally present in wild populations as well though – so it could be taking hold because frogs in general are not as resistant because of climate change, habitat disturbance or pollution.

Whatever the reason, it is probably our fault!

All material © Liz Brownlee

Facts from Wiki and Wiki.

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  1. A very interesting post and good poem. I’ve never heard of a paradox frog before so I’ve learned something new today.


    • Thanks, Eunice! They are not endangered at the minute. There are quite a few of them. Of course, climate change and drier conditions would impact on them.


  2. If I was a frog, I’d dream of getting kissed and turning into someone’s Prince Charming 😉


    • Oooh – I don’t know, I’m always sure that if you are one type of creature you probably want to excel at being that creature rather than changing into anything else. I wouldn’t mind being kissed and turning into a supreme human-being… (Not a Princess, they might be rich but I don’t think they are truly free!)


  3. Alex Johnson

    Hi Liz

    I love this poem, and I love the paradox! evolution is endlessly fascinating.




    • Thank you Alex! It’s actually one of my favourite poems. I didn’t write it for the challenge, but did the art and blog – I’m reading at Cheltenham Poetry Festival on Sunday so had to do 3 posts a day for a while!


  4. OTEbby

    How weird. I was out walking in the hills last week and saw lots of frogs spawning, but not paradox frogs I don’t suppose!
    Good luck with the rest of the A-Z Challenge.


    • My friend is going out at night, three hours at a time in the dark with a bucket, collecting toads that are trying to cross roads, so they don’t get killed and can make it back to their ponds to mate!
      I wonder what sort of frogs they were?


    • Ebby, I can’t comment on your excellent blog, I’m afraid, it won’t let me – some blogger sites don’t. But I read ‘P’! Excellent advice. I started exercising for the first time 3 years ago, as I got a dog – best thing I ever did! I feel a lot better. My dog is my assistance dog to warn me of low blood sugar, and she is wonderful. And I’m fit, now!


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