All About the African Clawed Frog

Introduction

The animal kingdom never ceases to amaze us, and the perfect example of this lies in the African Clawed Frog.

Sometimes, the smallest creatures in nature have to make up for their size with aggression. It’s a ferocious amphibian that is considered an apex predator in its natural environment.

What You Should Know

The African Clawed Frog is an amphibian that is found in eastern and southern Africa in areas with warm water and grasslands. It has permeable scales and typically is found in brown and greenish colors, however, albinos also exist. This frog is a pure carnivore and it loves to eat water bugs and small fish that cross its path in its underwater home. The African Clawed Frog will also eat things like spiders, worms, insects, and even it’s own skin! That’s right, this frog will often times eat its own skins after it goes through the natural process of shedding its skin.

They are small in size, coming in at about 1 inch to 5 inches in length and weighing about 1 to 8 ounces. It is a solitary creature that can enjoy quite a long lifespan. They will typically live about 8 to 15 years, with some African Clawed Frogs even making it to 30 years old. This frog lives its entire life in the water, only coming up for some fresh air every now and then. The African Clawed Frog does indeed have claws, which it uses to catch its prey and shovel the food into its mouth.

What sound do they make?

http://www.californiaherps.com/sounds/xenopus509.mp3

Group Characteristics

In terms of group behavior, the African Clawed Frog lives a fairly solitary existence. The female frogs are almost double the size of the males. After they mate, the female will lay her eggs in the water. The African Clawed Frog’s mating ritual occurs once a year. The female can lay thousands of tiny eggs on an underwater object she deems suitable. The eggs are held together by a jelly-like substance and will hatch into tadpoles that eventually become frogs. The young tadpoles will stay in the water until they are old enough to grow legs and leave. These frogs are known for having a long lifespan and can even make great pets. Some African Clawed Frog owners have reported that their pets lived for 30 years in captivity, which is a testament to how hearty the African Clawed Frog is.

How many are there?

The African Clawed Frog is not at risk of extinction, but the water quality in some of the areas that it calls home have decreased their numbers. These frogs have a bunch of potential predators that are looking to make them a quick snack. They are often eaten by small animals such as rodents, cats, dogs as well as lizards, snakes, birds, and other reptiles. Since these frogs like calling mud and muddy riverbanks their home, they are often times hidden from their predators. However, they will come up for air every now and then and put themselves at risk. 

Watch a video

You can find some great videos of the African Clawed Frog by clicking on any of the following links:

Interesting Facts

The African Clawed Frog has some truly intriguing facts to learn about. It’s one of the most ferocious amphibians on the planet and can definitely hold its own in the wild. Their claws are a unique adaptation that really helps them out with catching and eating their prey. Believe it or not, the African Clawed Frog is known for becoming the first pregnancy test for humans. One of the chemicals that human babies produce induce ovulation in the female African Clawed Frog, which is how they become a pregnancy test.