Surinam Toads Literally Burst Through Their Mother’s Skin

Kids can sometimes get under your skin—literally. The common Surinam Toad, aka the Star-Fingered Toad (Pipa pipa) is a species of frog in the Pipidae family found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.These interesting animals have an appearance that is often compared to a maple leaf, with widely webbed feet and a body that is almost completely flat. Perhaps even more interesting than their appearance is the way that they reproduce.

hole frogQuite unusually, the male frogs in the species attract mates by emitting sharp clicking noises from their throats. From there, female rise from the floor and begin swimming in arcs through the water and releases eggs. The process is described as: “During each arc, the female releases 3 to 10 eggs, which get embedded in the skin on her back by the male’s movements. After implantation, the eggs sink into the skin and form pockets over a period of several days, eventually taking on the appearance of an irregular honeycomb. The larvae develop through to the tadpole stage inside these pockets, eventually emerging from the mother’s back as fully developed toads, though they are less than an inch long (2 cm).”

Yes, you read that correctly. For female Surinam Toads, their unusual birth process involves their offspring actually ripping through the small patches of skin on their backs, leaving circular divots in their wake. Don’t believe us? Watch this video and see for yourself! #CUFBI

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