Javan tree frogs sitting together on a stalk in Indonesia
© SnapRapid/Offset by Shutterstoc
Can you see the family resemblance?
In honour of Cousins Day, we’re hanging out on a limb with these four Javan tree frogs in Indonesia. Tree frogs are smaller than your average terrestrial frogs because they spend the majority of their lives perched in trees, and their weight must be fully supported by twigs and leaves. Check out the rounded ends of these froggy fingers and toes. Those disc-shaped adhesive pads are what allow them to maneuver about on trees. While most tree frogs (there are 800 species all over the world!) are green, brown, or gray, these Javans are bright and colourful. This is so they can blend into their jungle environs and avoid being noticed by predators such as snakes, spiders, bats, and owls.
Each of these frogs went through a complete metamorphosis, starting out as one of about 50 eggs nestled in a ‘clutch’ of foam. Tree frog mothers tend to lay their eggs on the leaves of limbs hovered over streams, ponds, or lakes. When the eggs hatch, the tadpoles then drop into the water below. The tadpoles mature into frogs and end up hanging out with their frog cousins on limbs like this one. Here’s to cousins!