African Bull Frog

The coloring the bullfrog allows it to blend into its surroundings and lie in wait for its prey undetected. The African bullfrog will eat almost anything that it can fit into its mouth. This includes insects, small fish, mice, and even small birds. It may even eat lizards or other frogs, if it can overpower them. It has several large tooth-like projections in its lower jaw that helps it to grip and then chew its prey.  The African bullfrog’s biggest advantage against its predators is its size. It also uses its teeth to fight off would-be enemies, and will swell its body up to make itself look even bigger and more intimidating. Its aggressive behavior and a tendency to defend itself by attacking intruders with mouth agape can often protect it from predators such as larger wading birds, pelicans, Nile monitor lizards, driver ants, mammals, and even humans (who consider this bullfrog a delicacy to eat).

Breeding season for the African bullfrog begins when the rainy season arrives and the bullfrog comes out of hibernation. The eggs are laid in the temporary shallow pools of water left behind by the seasonal rains. On the second day after the eggs are laid, they hatch and the tadpoles emerge. At this stage they still remain in the water. The tadpoles that do survive and are not eaten by predators grow quickly, and after several weeks they loose their tadpole features and grow into small striped frogs. At this stage they are able to move onto land and spend less time in the water. The young bullfrogs become mature at 1 ½ to 3 years. However it may take 20 years or more for the African bullfrog to reach its full size.  The African bullfrog has a good sense of smell and sight. However its hearing is one of its most important senses, for bullfrogs use their calls (voices) to locate one another, especially during mating season. The loud, roar-like bellowing call of the African bullfrog is especially notable, and seems to suit its large size. It had taken me close to two hours to track down this frog in a marsh. The sound was deafening and confusing as to which direction any frog was coming from. I was covered in dirt, up to my knees in a marshy pond in the dark of night, but loving every second of the hunt for a pic. Using a flash beam from my camera, i found this handsome beast between some rocks, looking rather surprised that i had found him.


~ by Treasa Giblin on September 20, 2011.

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