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Monday, June 23, 2008

Sometimes Nature is Stranger Than Fiction

(Stealing this from Mike Brotherton)

Apparently scientists are giving added attention to a frog from Cameroon and realizing just how crazy nature really is. The frog not only grows sideburns, but also has the ability to project its bones through its hands like claws.
Apparently the frogs have bones inside the tip of their phalanges, and these bones are sharp, covered by another bony nodule, and suspended inside the skin of the frog’s toe with a suspendatory sheath, and padded on the bottom of the toe with lots of tissue. The bone is connected to an extensor muscle. When the frog is stressed or caught (they don’t know what triggers it yet), the extensor muscle contracts, and the sharp bone BREAKS away from the nodule covering it, and then tears open the tissue of the frog’s toe to come out. The bony claw remains anchored via strong collagen fibers, and might be able to retract once the extensor muscle relaxes. This is the only species found so far with claws that do not have a keratinous sheath covering them.
Thankfully this frog isn't strong to kill people, but still, that's kind of freaky. Click the link to learn more about this bizarre frog that is being called by some "the Wolverine frog". If there is any animal out there that deserves to be named after such a famous superhero, it's this frog.

(Don't click the read more, there isn't any more after this!)

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