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Duration:05:34
Uploaded:2019-09-12
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Introducing our new frog! Meet this little big guy, hear his name reveal, and get to know the story of why he came to us and how we're caring for him.

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This episode is sponsored by Curiosity Stream, and you can go to curiositystream.com/animalwonders to learn more. [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC].

Hello and welcome back to Animal Wonders! We are in our Reptile Room, which also houses most of our amphibians and invertebrates.

We have a newcomer that I’d like to introduce to everyone, and he was named by our Patreon patrons, but we’ll get to that later. Our new friend is an African Pixie Frog, also known as an African Bullfrog and he lives right down here. He likes really wet soil and a very humid environment, so we’ve given him just that.

Sometimes it’s hard to find him right away because his favorite thing to do is burrow down into the substrate and get all cozy. He’s right there! Look how cozy he is!

So this guy came to us when his previous owner no longer had space to house him. We had an open enclosure that would fit him nicely, so we got it all set up and then welcomed him in. We then reached out to our patrons on Patreon and asked them to help us name him by casting their vote for their favorite lovable frog names.

We also took votes from our volunteers, interns, and employees, and it ended up being a really close decision. So this big boy’s official official name... ...is Jabba! Jabba looks to be under a year old and he’s going to get quite big, possibly up to 10 inches in diameter if he’s a male!

We’re not sure if this is a male or a female, but based on how vocal he is, we’re guessing male and giving him male pronouns. Females aren’t often very vocal, though we could be wrong! Only time will tell.

Ok, let’s give this guy some food! We offer him food 4 days a week and he gets to eat as much as he can in 15 minutes. Pixie frogs are ambush predators, meaning they sit and wait for their prey to come to them.

In the wild, they would use camouflage to avoid detection and eat anything that comes close enough to snag with their tongue and can fit in their mouth. That would include bugs, rodents, small birds, and even other frogs. They have a sticky tongue and a fairly powerful bite with sharp little teeth, so you really don’t want them to think your fingers are food.

So I don’t use my hands to deliver his meals. If the prey won’t run away quickly, I can just place it near him and he’ll get it, like these mealworms. If the prey is fast and I don’t want them running around his enclosure, then I’ll hold it for him, like this cockroach.

He also gets crickets that he has to catch on his own, and he’ll get an occasional small rodent to devour. Jabba came to Animal Wonders about a month ago, and he just made his first trip to a public presentation. These gigantic frogs are incredibly interesting, and I love getting to share him with those who have never seen or learned about them before.

Pixie Frogs live in tropical and sub-tropical savannas near a water source, so they can stay moist. But during the dry season they will burrow deep into the soil, and a layer of mucus will form around them and harden up, protecting their bodies from losing all their moisture. When the wet season returns, the mucus layer will soften enough for them to eat it, and then they will emerge and claim their territory for the breeding season.

My favorite fact about Pixie Frogs is that the dads are the ones to protect the eggs and tadpoles from other predators until they are able to hop away and take their chances in the big wide world. But if Dad has a bad couple days and food is scarce, he won’t let himself get too weak with hunger to protect the majority of his offspring. So he’ll happily snack on a few of his own tadpole children to ensure the rest of the brood makes it.

Alright, I'd like to take a closer look at him. And when I want to move him into a new spot to clean him or into a travel carrier to bring to a presentation, I need to be able to pick him up. But remember, I have to be careful not to let him think I’m food, so I’ll reach behind him and lift underneath his back legs.

Ohhh, look at him! He’s amazing! There are so many weird and amazing animals in the world, I just can’t get enough of them!

Pixie Frogs evolved to survive in a unique environment, and their adaptations are specific for what they encounter in the wild. Like being an amphibian with the ability to survive an extreme dry season. But what if their environment changed dramatically?

I recently watched a video called Secret Life of Lakes and was fascinated by the reality of a man-made lake called Lake Nasser and how it impacted the native wildlife in Egypt. And you can watch it too on CuriosityStream, who is the sponsor of today’s video. They are a subscription streaming service that offers over 2,400 documentaries and nonfiction titles from some of the world’s best filmmakers, including exclusive originals.

Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first 30 days a month, and for our audience are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/animalwonders and use the promo code ‘animalwonders’ during the sign-up process. Thank you for letting me share Jabba with you! I’m so happy to be able to offer him a good home.

He’s going to be an amazing ambassador and share wonder and curiosity to all who meet him. I hope you have a great day! And if you’d like to go on an animal adventure with us every week, be sure to subscribe to.

Animal Wonders Montana and I’ll see you next week!