Its title, desert rain frog, itself is an oxymoron (two words opposite in meaning appearing alongside each other in a sentence). Paradoxically, it hardly rains in the area where this exceptional frog is located. It’s called so because it goes back to the Brevicipitidae, a household of rain frogs. It’s located only in temperate coastal desert areas of South Africa and Namibia. Sand dunes and desert vegetation characterise this area and it gets nearly all of its moisture from fogs that blow in from the ocean.

Very tiny, but plump and plump up, Breviceps macrops sports a brief nose and stumpy, short legs which stop it from hopping. Its skin, such as many other amphibians, is coated in wart-like lumps and contains different patterns and patchy yellow-brown colouration. This helps it blend in with the environment. A little portion of its stomach skin features a clear patch which makes its inner organs visible!

This nocturnal desert monster spends all its day at a burrow where it’s moist and cool and it digs using especially designed feet which seem like paddles. Contrary to other frogs in its own genus, the desert rain frog has webbed feet, which potentially help for a fantastic foundation in loose sand. It feeds on insects and their larvae and places its eggs underground covering them in a thick, thick jelly-like material. When the tadpoles emerge, then the jelly softens to a fluid where they reside till they develop into frogs. So that is how they can survive in an arctic environment.

Interestingly, its most striking feature is not among its physical traits in any way. It makes a strange sound especially when it’s threatened! It creates an adorable, squeaky, shrill noise — one which has been termed as a fearsome’war cry’. You need to hear it to believe it.

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