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The sit-and-wait feeding strategy of the Surinam Horned Frog - Ceratophrys cornuta 

It has been said that frogs of the South American genus Ceratophrys (Leptodactylidae) can best be described as big, bad and beautiful. Big because of their size (C. cornuta attains a length of up to 15 cm), bad because they are aggressive, and beautiful because of their often gaudy combinations of green and brown dorsal coloration.

The Surinam Horned Frog, Ceratophrys cornuta occurs in the Amazon Basin (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru and Suriname). These frogs are voracious predators, which use a sit-and-wait feeding strategy to ambush prey that varies from ants to small vertebrates.

Horned frogs bury themselves in the leaves on the ground with only the head sticking out. Once in this position and helped by its camouflage coloration, C. cornuta waits for something edible to pass by and eats almost anything that passes, as long as it will fit in the frog’s mouth.

The cryptic coloration of these frogs is thought to be an anti-predator adaptation as it aids in camouflaging them in their surroundings. It is also thought that the horns may function as part of this camouflage, since the horns may be perceived by predators as the stem of a leaf or other such object

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Robert Oelman | Locality: unknown (2013) | [Top] - [Bottom]

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