The Weirdest Frog Calls Ever Recorded

On January 16, 2016 by Tim Newman

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog - Weird Calls

Frogs have been hanging about on earth for a good long while. The oldest “proto-frog” fossil was found in Madagascar and dates back to the early Triassic (247 million years ago); but, from molecular clock dating, scientists reckon frogs might have been around 265 million years ago.

Whichever estimate you decide to go with, that’s quite a while.

During their stay on our blue-green blob they’ve managed to inhabit a multitude of environments, but they seem to like rainforests the best. All in all, there are an estimated 4,800 species of frog, making up around 85% of all amphibian species.

Over the millions and millions of years, frogs have developed a bewildering array of vocal calls. From grunts and snorts to shrieks and whistles; I decided that today I would collate some of the frog’s oddest calls, as a celebration of our moist-skinned mates.

The sounds that frogs produce are created by forcing air through their layrnx and amplifying the result with a vocal sac, or sacs. These sacs vary in their capabilities, but the best of the bunch can amplify sound so that it can be heard a mile away.

Not all frogs call, but those that do are generally looking to attract a mate. The lady frogs preferentially hunt out frogs that can shout with more intensity and at the lowest frequency, capabilities which allow the song to travel the furthest.

Other reasons for frog calls include pre-empting rain, displeasure at a rival mounting a female, fear and distress.

Quieter frogs tend to live next to noisy streams where alternative communication methods are more successful. Some frogs that live near the coast don’t bother to call at all.

Science and ecology aside, for the purpose of this post, I just want to point and laugh at our incredibly distant cousin’s attempt at singing. Let’s start with this guy:



Believe it or not, this donkey sound belongs to a frog:



Bull frogs:



Green tree frog. Check out the sac on this guy:



OK. You’re gonna love this one. According to CNN this is the “cutest frog” and if CNN says it’s so, I am sold. This is the desert rain frog (Breviceps macrops). The species lives on just one 10 km long Namibian beach and are, therefore, classed as “vulnerable”, which gives their plaintive call an extra tinge of sadness.

The area in which the frog lives sees an inordinate amount of fog, this gives the frogs the moisture they need in an otherwise arid environment. The desert rain frog is nocturnal and spends its days buried in the sand. During the night it hangs around on lumps of turd and eats moths. Basically, living the high life.

The underside of the desert rain frog is transparent allowing you to glimpse its innards, should you so desire:



If that was the world’s cutest frog, this might be classed as the world’s least cute frog:



Giant African bullfrog:



White-striped poison dart frog:



I call these Thai frogs “keyboard frog”:



Here’s a selection of frog calls somewhere called Bayano, I’m not sure where that is, but the frogs love it there by the sounds of it:



I do hope you enjoyed that musical journey? If you find any omissions, don’t hesitate to let me know. Thanks guys.








@media all and (max-width: 228px) { div#darkbackground, div.visiblebox { display: none; } }