Purple Frog

The Purple Frog is a product of isolated evolution that has been taking place for over 130 million years. Evolving from the amphibian family Nasikabatrachidae, the Purple Frog is a very recent discovery, having being discovered in India in 2003 making the Purple Frog the first new family of frogs to be discovered since 1926. Currently the Purple frog is listed as endangered because the growth of deforestation is destroying its habitat. It is believed that the Purple Frog and its closest relative the Sooglossidae family’s ancestors shared that earth with dinosaurs for around 70 million years  before splitting down two distinct evolutionary paths all before the firt human ancestors even emerged.

Although you would have to be extremely lucky to come across a Purple Frog (as only 135 have been recorded), the Purple Frog should be easy to identify due to its unique characteristics. Reaching around 7 centimeters in length the Purple Frog has a mixed coloration of purple and gray and is somewhat bloated in appearance. The head of the Purple Frog is very small compared to its body an the same is true with its limbs. As the Purple Frog spends most of its life underground it is an expert burrower making use of growths on its hind limbs to aid in burrowing.

purplefrog1 Purple Frog
Purple Frog in monsoon season
Purple Frog in monsoon season

The only time the Purple Frog emerges from underground is in the monsoon season where they emerge to mate. At this time both male and female Purple Frogs can be observed collection in ponds or the banks of streams (although there have only been 3 recorded females observed) where they will breed and the larger female will lay her eggs in the pond or stream.

The diet of the Purple Frog is almost exclusively termites with the exception of the occasional worms and ants. The pronounced snout of the Purple Frog works as a kind of ‘battering ram’ which they use to break their way into underground termite mounds. Purple Frogs do not emerge to hunt, all hunting takes place underground and the Purple Frog most likely rely on smell for hunting as they have very poor eyesight. Purple Frogs live in close proximity to their regular termite prey as this provides easy hunting and is also beneficial to the Purple Frog as the conditioned soil around a termite mound provides a better habitat for the Purple Frog then that of regular soil.

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