Tag Archives: amphibians

The Crucifix Toad, also called the Holy Cross Frog, Notaden bennettii, lives in the dry outback of eastern Australia. When it gets too dry, this little guy burrows deep underground and goes into a semi-hibernating state, like many of his neighbors. However, it is the substance secreted by this little amphibian that makes it special. When disturbed by insects or other threats, the Crucifix Toad secretes a sticky substance known to be one of the strongest natural adhesives in the world. It will even stick metal to metal! Even more valuable, it is being used inside human bodies for medical purposes, far exceeding the usefulness of limited protein-based and synthetic bonding agents currently being used. Check out the links below for more interesting tidbits!

Notaden bennettii crucifix toad holy cross frog australia desert glue adhesive medical wonder natural products

Australian Geographic
iNaturalist
Glue Protects from Insect Bites…
Frogs of Australia

Great (or Northern) Crested Newts, Triturus cristatus, large for their type, are found across northern Europe from the UK to Western Russia. Females are larger than males and sport a bright yellow and black-spotted underbelly. Males have the bright belly plus two separate crests: a more scalloped or tufted version down their back and two smoother ones on the top and bottom of the tail. You may also be able to spot a silvery stripe running along the sides of the male’s tail. Watch the video below and check out the links to learn about this unique amphibian species!

ARKive
Encyclopedia of Life
Freshwater Habitats Trust

Great Crested Newt

There are thought to be seven distinct subspecies of Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii). The map below shows distribution and examples of the wide variety of colorations for this single species in its genus. The ensatina is a lungless salamander who breathes through its skin and therefore must remain in moist habitat. When times get a bit dry, they can burrow down under logs and leaf litter until the above ground habitat becomes more moist once again.
Click the links below the map to find out more about this amazing species, and to see more pics of its variety! Scroll down on the first linked-to page to see entire pages of pics and videos for each of the seven subspecies! 😀

ensatina salamander species subspecies map california oregon washington canada spotten red black yellow brown tan

California Herps
Ensatina Natural History
Wild Herps

This spikey little amphibian lives in Japan. At one time it also could be found in Taiwan, but has become extinct there due to habitat loss and capture for the pet trade.

Crocodile Newts grow to only about 6 to 7 inches long including their tail, and their ribs actually end in protruding spikes that serve as protection against predators.

echinotriton andersoni alligator crocodile newt andersons japan salamander moss dark spikes amphibians wild

ARKive: Anderson’s crocodile newt
Alligator Newt: St. Louis Zoo
CC: (great pics!)

This tiny toad lives only on a single island in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Spain. Like all midwife toads, the father watches over the eggs until tadpoles emerge and go off on their own.

majorcan mallorcan midwife toad alytes muletensis male eggs frogs endemic species islands mediterranean sea

Learn about this species:
Wikipedia
EDGE
ARKive

Don’t blink! You’ll miss this pet Horned Frog gobbling its prey!

Pet Horned Frog

This crazy frog from the Amazon has a mouth that is one and a half times the length of its body!

surinam amazon horned frog ceratophrys cornuta face amphibian brown leaf

Learn more about this species:
Encyclopedia of Life (more pics!)
Animal Diversity Web
National Geographic