3D Image Shows Frog Within An Argentine Horned Frog

June 12, 2015

Most of us know that the Argentine horned frog (Ceratophrys ornata), aka the Pac-Man Frog has a fairly wide mouth and eats most anything that it can fit inside. We also know that the horned frog is a sit and wait predator.

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Pac Man Frog Care Sheet

Argentine Horned Frog

A scientist with the Functional Morphology and Biomechanics working group at the Zoological Institute at Kiel University was using 3D scanning technology in an effort to showcase the stickiness of amphibian tongues and how they relate to the size of prey in which they capture, scanned the horned frog that was preserved in alcohol and discovered that it had eaten another frog before it met its fate. That frog, is believed to be a northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens), which is native to North America and not South America which is the range of the horned frog. 

Dr. Thomas Kleinteich was totally blown away by the discovery of the frog within the frog. "Last year I was able to show experimentally that horned frogs can produce extremely strong adhesive strength with their tongues, which they also need in order to catch larger prey,” Kleinteich told CNN. "With the micro-CT I am able to show, for the first time, how such a large catch can even fit inside a horned frog."

The scanned image of the frog is quite interesting. It details the prey frog had been swallowed head first and shows the foot sticking across the horned frog’s tongue. 

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