The Bornean eared frog owes at least part of its name to the skin folds or “ears” above the tympanum (or ear region) behind its eyes. In the inset photo, a tadpole of the species with gills shows signs of limb development.
Recipe for Success How to Make a Frog By Brett Baldwin ANIMAL CARE MANAGER, HERPETOLOGY DEPARTMENT, ZOO
Photos by Ken Bohn SDZG PHOTOGRAPHER
hen it comes to reproduction, most animals pick one method—and environment—and stick with it. Frogs, on the other hand, seem to have adapted an “any port in a storm” approach to furthering the species. These amphibious animals occur in a variety of habitats, from dry environments to high-altitude cold climates to the most commonly associated habitat: the humid, rainy tropics. The ability to occupy a wide diversity of habitat types has given rise to many methods of reproduction for the 6,400-plus known frog species. In their work with many of the animals in the order Anura, San Diego Zoo keepers Erika DiVenti and Dave Grubaugh have discovered that for frogs to thrive, there are a few basic—but crucial—components needed to recreate the ideal mix.