Wide Mouthed Frog - not a joke

Wide mouthed frog eating another! Argentinian horned frogs or toads are also called wide mouthed frogs. No, not because of the joke (which I'm not going to tell here), but because they indeed have a very wide mouth! It's a nickname that applies to several different species of Ceratophyrs genus.

They breed in seasonal pools in the Chacoan desert of Argentina, are voracious predators, and will eat anything that is smaller in size than they are; this includes members of their own species. (This image is taken from an NHNZ Images movie clip). Indeed, if they weren't ambushing other passing frogs they would eat out a territory and the end result would be a sterile environment with nothing but the predator. They have been known to cram in so much food that their stomachs literally rip from overeating.

In this "frog eat frog" world, not every victim goes down without a fight. By inflating its lungs for added bulk, it stalls the attack, but it must breathe sometime and then it's history!

Becoming a cannibal means fast food, fast growth and the chance to grow out of danger. Adult frogs are perfectly equipped to be cannibals, but their tiny froglets, emerging from the water, often bite off more than they can chew. What ends up happening is that the smaller frog is unable to swallow a frog larger than himself and refuses to give it up, it is just too good a thing and will literally die by choking to death trying to cram a larger body than himself into himself for food. So sometimes the cannibalism works in a negative sense in killing both animals for the most part it works in a positive sense in that it's a wonderful large meal filled with all the most perfect nutrition a frog's body can ask for.

There are numerous examples of cannibalism in the animal world, and NHNZ Images has sequences of them including, red-backed spiders, praying mantis, scorpions and of course wide mouthed frog.

Check out other interesting, intriguing and arresting images from the NHNZ stockshot library.