Getting Their Kicks: The World’s 7 Most Amazing Frogs

Leapin’ liz… er, amphibians! Even when they’re not jumping, these 7 amazing frogs will kick your appreciation for nature’s wonder into high gear.

Tiger Leg Monkey Frog

(image via: Brad Wilson, DVM)

Tigers and monkeys and frogs, oh my! The Tiger Leg Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna) is also known as the Barred Leaf Frog, presumably by people with diminished senses of fun and adventure. Found over a wide range of Amazonian rainforest habitats in northern and western South America, this strikingly marked tree frog is officially listed by IUCN as being of Least Concern though like all rainforest creatures, its future remains clouded by the threat of increased human activity in the region. Credit Flicker user Brad Wilson, DVM for the above and other images of this amazing amphibian.

(images via: Amphibian Rescue/Joe Milmoe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Gail Melville Shumway)

Phyllomedusa tomopterna, like most Monkey Frogs, spend much of the time far up in rainforest treetops where they risk overexposure to the fierce tropic sun. To counteract the effects of solar radiation, these frogs secrete a waxy substance that acts as a natural sunscreen. Oddly enough, the Tiger Leg Monkey Frog is mainly active at night while sleeping through the day.

Cocoa Frog

(images via: IBTimes and LiveScience)

The so-called Cocoa Frog (Hypsiboas sp) is so new – to science, at least – that it doesn’t even have a formal taxonomic name yet. Discovered in southeastern Suriname along with 60 other previously unknown species during an expedition one of the world’s last expanses of undisturbed and unexplored rainforest, this diminutive tree frog sports big brown eyes and a deliciously decadent (oops, been watching too many chocolate commercials) skin striped and splotched with warm shades of cocoa brown.

Madagascar Tomato Frog

(image via: Diana Bradshaw)

The Madagascar Tomato Frog (Dyscophus antongilii) is a large frog whose skin color ranges from yellow-orange to orange-red with males tending toward the former and females the latter. Kudos to Flickr user Diana Bradshaw for her very “ripe” image of a Madagascar Tomato Frog at rest.

(images via: Photogenic Image and Markus Fleute)

One might assume the Madagascar Tomato Frog‘s conspicuous coloration indicates some sort of toxicity, as is the case with many species of brightly colored South American “poison dart” frogs. This African frog takes a slightly different tack: when attacked, its skin secretes a white viscous liquid that acts as a sort of organic krazy glue. In its own way, the Madagascar Tomato Frog advises potential predators their next meal just might be their last.