Without a doubt: the world’s cutest frog

February 16, 2013 • 12:53 pm

From Tastefully Offensive via Matthew Cobb, we have a video of the Namaqua Rain Frog (Breviceps namaquensis). If you don’t think frogs can induce squee, think again. It’s not only unbearably cute, but makes adorable squeaking sounds.

The inflation of the body, shown above and below, is a defense mechanism, as is the squeaking.

B. namaquensis is from South Africa, locally abundant, and, thankfully, not threatened. The one in the video above is covered with sand, so here are two pictures of its normal appearance:

From SA Reptiles; http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=12228
From SA Reptiles; http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=12228

They are fossorial (i.e., live underground) and the color pattern is, as you see, variable. They are not associated with water, and so the frog doesn’t produce tadpoles: the babies are produced by “direct development” in the adult.

Image from SA Reptiles, http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=142&t=29576
Image from SA Reptiles, http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=142&t=29576

Is this a case of convergent evolution involving felids and anurans?


16 thoughts on “Without a doubt: the world’s cutest frog

    1. Now we shan’t try this on the poor froglets, or shall we?

      “…Although in modern versions the transformation is invariably triggered by the princess kissing the frog, in the original Grimm version of the story the frog’s spell was broken when the princess threw it against a wall in disgust…”

  1. We’ve had lots of frogs and toads in our various gardens, over the years. Unfortunately, the poor froggies also squeak when being swallowed by snakes. It’s an awful thing to watch.

  2. I had to check the link a second time; I thought this was an anti-caturday post. It still looks more like Yoda than a cat, but maybe I’m just speciesist.

  3. Some years back we had a small pond just off the kitchen window. The pond was self sustaining with some fish and plants we added. The frogs, birds, and other critters just showed up to enjoy the pond. One day I was watching a small frog sit on one part of a small waterfall. He was watching sparrows drink from the pond. I looked away, then back and noticed some kind of commotion in the pond. I went out and found the frog sitting on a rock with something sticking out of his mouth. A closer look revealed he had swallowed a sparrow whole! I know birds are way smaller than they look but I had no idea that this smallish frog had the capacity to eat an entire sparrow. Very cool. I only wish I’d seen the hit.

  4. But not happy squeaks. To the frog they are a deafening roar that says: ‘look at how big and scary I am’.
    My dog (a friendly pit bull mix) immediately came over and cocked his head at my squeaking laptop. Now that is cute too.

  5. There was a lady who worked with me in S.Africa who, due to her rather severe facial expression and large glasses was nicknamed by us herp nerds as Breviceps. She went up in our estimation (we had all been rather scared of her) when she found this out and was extremely pleased as they were her favourite frogs.

  6. There’s a lot of ecological similarity in the habitats and biota of the Cape with southern Western Australia, where the Sandhill Frogs Arenophryne are a bit like this guy. They don’t have those crazy eyes though (or terrifyingly cute squeak, as far as I know).

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