Mystery of Darwin's Frog

Mystery of Darwin's Frog

Walking through the forests of southern Chile is where you might be lucky enough to find one of Darwin's Frogs.  Charles Darwin discovered these frogs in 1834 when he was exploring the island of Lemey.  There he found an "unusual frog with a flap of skin on its nose."  Now what's truly exceptional about these frogs is the male.  He will swallow the eggs and/or tadpoles from the eggs laid by his mate and he will hold them in his mouth.  

When the tadpoles grow up and become frogs, they will hide inside the mouth of their male parent.  You just might catch a glimpse of a male opening his mouth and several little frogs hopping out.  Amazing.

These frogs are being studied by scientists to see why they are disappearing.  A killer fungus has been identified and the change in their environment has been noted.  People are cutting down the indigenous forest and planting eucalyptus and pine trees in its place.  These trees do not attract the moisture or the insects that the Darwin Frogs need to survive.

The impact of human choices on the enviroment of the frogs is powerful.  These seemingly tiny members of our community are serving as warnings to us.  It's important for us to understand them and their part in the web of life.

Beautiful photographs take you right to Chile where you feel as though you could reach out and touch a frog.  They make you WANT to reach out and touch a frog.  

40 pages  Ages  8-12  978-1590788646

Recommended by:  Barb 

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