The Glass Frog

These remarkable creatures can be found in the tropical rainforests of Southern Mexico, Central and South America.

They have managed to elude predators with their transparent flesh due to a lack pigment on their ventral surface (stomach surface) and their organs are quite visible; from the underside one can observe their intestines, red blood vessels and even their tiny beating hearts.

Renn-Glass-Frog-artsyhome.jpg
Glass frogs have green bones to further conceal themselves from potential predators

Glass frogs are generally small, ranging from 3cm to 5.5cm making them particularly vulnerable to a wide range of predators from snakes and mammals to birds. They are arboreal animals, spending the majority of their lives up trees, but will brave the forest floor each mating season. Eggs are also completely transparent, and are cared for by the male frog, who keeps them safe from insects and parasites.

close up of developing eggs
Close-up of developing eggs

Like most amphibians, these frogs are nocturnal, and are most active from dusk to the early morning hours. Their excellent vision allows them to easily detect potential predators and prey. Their diets consist of soft bodied insects and spiders making them essential components of their ecosystem by keeping the insect population under control.

The average lifespan of a glass frog is between 10 and 14 years in the wild. Unfortunately many species of glass frog are endangered due to their loss of habitat, but for now, we can take a minute marvel at the incredible beauty of the glass frog, as it quietly and imperceptibly maintains the rainforest’s natural balance.

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