Here is a selection of freaky frogs with truly unique, unusual and outright bizarre reproductive habits! Browse through the pics and be amazed and delighted (or just grossed out). But do also consider the very important implications of such unique reproductive tactics, at the bottom of this post.
Darwin’s frog, Rhinoderma darwinii
Females lay their eggs on moist soil and when the eggs hatch, the males ‘swallow’ the tadpoles and put them in their specialized vocal sacs. The tadpoles stay there through metamorphosis, about 6 weeks, and then are released in a series of convulsive movements as miniature frogs (Cogger and Zweifel 1998, Gallardo 1999).
Rather ironic name, considering that Darwinism has a hard time explaining how this system could have evolved through random processes.
Midwife toad, Genus Alytes
The female expels a strand of eggs, which the male fertilizes externally. He then wraps them around his legs to protect them from predators in the water. When they are ready to hatch, the male wades into shallow water, where he allows the tadpoles to leap out of their eggs.
Marsupial frog, Genus Gastrotheca
Females possess a dorsal brood pouch (on the back). The eggs are fertilized on the female’s lower back, and are inserted in her pouch with the aid of the male’s toes. The eggs remain in contact with the female’s vascular tissue, which provides oxygen for them.
The pic reminds me of the movie Gremlins, where if water is sprayed onto a Gremlin, four more would bulge and pop out of its back.
Surinam toad, Pipa pipa
The female releases 60-100 eggs, which are fertilized by the male and then embedded in the skin of the female’s back by the male’s movements. After implantation the eggs sink into the skin and form pockets over a period of several days, eventually taking on the appearance of an irregular honeycomb. The larvae develop through the tadpole stage inside these pockets, eventually pushing out from the membrane on the mother’s back as fully developed frogs.
Video of emerging larvae at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCayq56wHSA
Gastric brooding frog, Rheobatrachus silus
After the eggs are fertilized by the male, the female swallows the eggs. At this time, the frog’s stomach is normal, secreting hydrochloric acid and a powerful enzyme which together would normally break down and digest anything in the stomach.
However, the jelly around the eggs contains a special chemical (prostaglandin E2) which halts production of acid and also appears to prevent the stomach from discharging its contents further down the gut. This chemical also relaxes the stomach wall, enabling it to thin out and expand to an enormous degree. During this time, the mother does not eat at all.
The young are nourished by the extra large yolk of the eggs. They are released from the mother as fully formed miniature frogs. Over a period as long as a week, the mother comes up to the water surface and relaxes her gullet, allowing the baby frog to come out of her mouth. A mother which was disturbed was also been observed ‘vomiting’ out all the young in one go.
By far the strangest reproductive adaptation. I highly suggest vivisting the first cited link for a take on just how impossible it is to evolve a set of physical, chemical and behavioural adaptations as complex as these.
Having seen these various froggy breeding adaptations, one must ask the following questions of naturalistic evolutionary theory:
1) How did such complex organs, complex behaviour and complex adaptations to the young evolve through a step-by-step process?
Especially since small adaptations towards a fully-functioning biological system (for example, a dorsal pouch with sacs, but no vascular tissue to provide oxygen) that provide no benefit on their own should quickly be lost when the evolver dies, due the useless mutation making it less fit for survival.
Just imagine a Gastric brooding frog that evolved the swallowing eggs behaviour, but not any other pieces of the puzzle. It would die out in one generation as it digests every batch of its eggs! Even if a few survived to escape the mother’s stomach, this would invalidate the rule of ‘more surviving offspring, more copies of that adaptation’.
2) How did such complex organs, complex behaviour and complex adaptations to the young evolve simultaneously through random processes?
If only one or a few of the requirements were evolved first, they would be useless and pointless. For example, the gastric-brooding frog. If any one of the processes among placing the eggs in the mouth, acid-inhibition, larger egg yolk, not swallowing the eggs further into the digestive tract, or regurgitating the baby frogs were not present… Then the entire reproductive strategy would fail totally.
If the chances are so low to even randomly evolve just one of the above traits correctly, then the chances to simultaneously evolve several genetically unrelated traits in the same generation must be mini-miniscule!
3) How and why did such a reproductive package evolve?
Each seems to be an adaptation to the absence of conventional bodies of fresh water where frogs normally lay eggs. If it was in response to rivers drying up, then the frogs would have been unable to reproduce and would all have died out long before their specialized system could evolve.
Whereas if the systems were evolved before the environmental pressure appeared, then why did the frogs even change from the standard spawn-in-water model in the first place? Their heavy investment in specialized reproduction would have put them at a disadvantage to normal frogs. There would have been no driving force, no selection pressure, no reason to evolve.
There are many amazing living things which boggle evolutionists’ attempts to explain how and why they could have evolved. And it just so happens (or was it intentionally planned?) that several types of frogs have incredible reproductive strategies, each wildly different from the other, yet each accomplishing the purpose of continuing life.
So was it just incredible coincidence that all the right parts came together in the right way, at just the right time and place (ala X-men style instant evolution)? And not just once, but multiple times over the history of life on Earth… As many times, in fact, as there are different life forms.
Or is there perhaps some other explanation, one that works and fits much better than the dogmatically-spouted theory of evolution? Christian counseling degrees are not needed to draw such a conclusion. Just a clear mind.