Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Night frog species uses a never-before-seen mating method

JUNE 15, 2016

by Chuck Bednar

An elusive, nocturnal breed of frog native to the Western Ghats region of India has a few never-before-seen tricks up its sleeve when it comes time to get intimate, as scientists have found that the creatures use a previously unknown mating position when actively reproducing.

Sathyabhama Das Biju, an amphibian expert from the University of Delhi, and an international team of colleagues were studying Bombay night frogs (Nyctibatrachus humayuni) in the forests of the Western Ghats for weeks before finding out that the amphibians utilized a sexual position previously unknown to science, adding to the six already known to be used by frogs.

According to Science News, video footage shows the male frog positioning himself loosely on the back of the female, with his limbs on the ground, tree branches or leaves in a position known as a dorsal straddle. He then releases his sperm onto her back, and leaves before the female lays her eggs. She then lays the eggs, and the sperm trickles down her back and legs onto them.

To date, Bombay tree frogs are the only of the more than 6,600 known species of frogs to use this technique, The Guardian noted, and in most cases, the male directly grasps onto the waste, armpits or head of his mate. However, in this case, they steadied themselves using branches or leaves that were nearby before releasing his sperm directly onto the female’s back.

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