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Wild gull chase


Jumpin’ pumpkins

Pumpkin toadlet

The cloud forests of southeastern Brazil have many endemic plants and animals. These include several species of the cutely termed pumpkin toadlets (Brachycephalus spp.). They are miniature frogs – some measure less than 10 mm from snout to vent – and they inhabit the leaf litter of the forest floor. Many are orange, some are fluorescent, some are even poisonous. However, unusually for frogs, none can complete a successful jump. They tend to walk rather than jump, but they do jump when startled. They just do not land well.

Typically frogs have many adaptations that facilitate their jumping lifestyle. They have no tail – hence the name of the Order, Anura, partly derived from the Greek word oura, for tail. Other adaptations include large hind limbs and their associated muscles, as well as the femur being attached to muscles from the extended parts of the pelvic girdle, the ilium. These pelvic muscles enable frogs to extend their legs in preparation for jumping.

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Wild gull chase

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