Why are frogs such a strange shape of the skull?

It may seem that all frogs look the same — it’s not really pleasant to look at creation with a large head, broad body and long back legs. But actually they are very different from each other structure of the head. For example, the skulls of some of them covered with thorns and various irregularities, the purpose of which scientists have long could not understand. But recently the American researchers decided to compare the skeletons of 158 species of frogs and finally found the answer to the question. As it turned out, a different structure of the skull helps these amphibians animal to hunt prey and defend against predators. And eat right and not to give in insult, you really trust us, frogs are able to.

The results of a study conducted by researchers from the Florida Museum of natural history, was published in the scientific journal SciTechDaily. By studying the skeletons of different species of frogs, the researchers were convinced that the skulls of most of them are really covered with a complex network of spines, warts and other irregularities. It is noteworthy that the species with the same diet and protective reactions form irregularities were common features. On this basis, scientists have concluded that the shape of the skulls of frogs varies due to the fact that these amphibians are scattered in almost all corners of the world and have different preferences in food. Besides, different species of frogs have their own, individual enemies, each of which amphibians are forced to apply different protective measures.

They eat frogs?

According to study author Daniel Paluga, the strange skull design meet frogs that feed on mammals and birds. For example, the ability to eat rodents has a so-called bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). It lives in fresh waters of Central and South-Eastern North America and can grow up to 25 centimeters. Their diet includes insects, spiders, fish and even mice, for eating which they need large mouths and powerful jaws.

According to the researchers, the bumps on the skull bull frog and its relatives help them as much as possible to bite their victims. Also a special arrangement of bones allows them wide open mouth, to swallow mammals. In 2010, Dan Garrick is working in one of the zoos of England, captured on camera the moment when the bullfrog is almost completely swallowed the little mouse. According to him, a giant frog did not run after prey, but simply grabbed her tongue and shoved into her mouth. In the mouth of this frog species has many teeth, so the death of the mouse was clearly painful.

The most poisonous frog

Bumps on the skull of the frog are also needed for protection from predators. When some of the natural enemies of frogs biting them behind the head, located in their skulls spikes can pierce under the skin glands of poison. Poisonous properties have not all frogs, but the so-called terrible Golden poison (Phyllobates terribilis) the sources of the poison definitely is. The deadly substance is called a batrachotoxin and into the blood of animals or humans, can cause cardiac arrest. An effective antidote against this substance still exists.

So why are frogs such a strange shape of the skull, not like the skulls of other animals? Based on the foregoing, it appears that the shape of the head of these animals is strongly influenced by the habitat and way of life. Previously, scientists believed that the strange design of the head allows them to accumulate inside the skull the water and survive in arid conditions. It is possible that some species of frogs can do this, but most of them fancy the shape of the skull helps not to stay hungry and to defend against enemies.