This page includes:
- A short story about Joe, the Goliath Frog
- Fun Facts
- Links to helpful sites
Joe the Goliath Frog
Joe the Goliath Frog was born on the sandy bottoms of a rushing river. He breaks out of his egg, and notices his beautiful surrounding habitat of lush rainforest, which is part of the costal regions of western Africa. For the first ninety days of his life, he is a small tadpole, feeding mainly on Dicraea warningii warmingii – a water plant found only in waterfalls and rushing rivers, like the one Joe was born in.
Although as a tadpole, Joe is the same size as any other frog, he soon grows and grows and grows, and through some unexplainable force becomes a great big, Goliath frog – or what scientists refer to as the Conraua goliath. Joe’s rough skin is greenish in color, but his underside is yellowish-orange. At 3.3 kg and 32 cm long, Joe and the rest of his species are the world’s largest frogs! Because of Joe’s large size, he needs lots of food to sustain himself. As an adult, he is a carnivore, mainly feeding on insects, crustaceans, fish, and other small amphibians. By having such a varied diet, Joe helps balance the food chain in his small habitat.
Because Joe lives in such a particular habitat, he has had to adapt in order to survive in his environment. For example, Joe can leap up to 10 feet in one bounce! This helps him leap from rock to rock in the flowing rivers of his habitat. Joe also sheds his skin. He twists his body to loosen the skin, and then he pulls it over his head like a sweater! This helps him keep cool in his humid surroundings. Having webbed hands and feet also helps Joe swim in the water. Because he lives in and around rivers, this adaptation is very useful.
The way Joe reproduces has also adapted to his environment. Joe sexually reproduces during the months of July and August. Several hundred eggs are attached to plants growing on the bottom of the rivers where he lives. Once the eggs have hatched, it takes about 85-95 days for tadpoles to develop. Once Joe’s offspring are born, they will grow to become Goliath frogs just like Joe. But because the frogs’ habitat range is so limited, no on knows how long the Goliath frog lives.
Unfortunately, Joe and the rest of his species are on their way to extinction. Their habitat is quickly disappearing because the rain forests where they live are being cut down and used for agricultural purposes. People are also building dams across the rivers, and the wilderness is being replaced by villages. The villages are especially dangerous to Joe because he is a source of food to some native West African tribes. Even if Joe is put in a zoo in an effort to keep his species alive, Goliath frogs don’t breed or survive well in captivity. The only way Joe will survive is if his habitat is protected.
Did you know that......?
- Goliath frogs are mute!
- They don’t make any noise
- There is almost no distinction between the male and female Goliath Frog.
- They are indistinguishable until mating season when the male’s first digit on its forelimbs becomes swollen, caused by clasping its mate.
- Goliath Frogs are hunted for medicinal purposes and for collectors.
- Goliath Frogs are considered a delicacy.
- The Goliath Frog's second toe is its longest toe and it has long interdigital membranes down along to the end of its toes.
Information on the Internet
- Goliath Frog For an informative overview of the Goliath Frog, with a focus on the threat of extinction, visit this website. It containts information on threats, status, weight, habitat, population, current range, conservation, and general description
- Goliath Frog (Conraua Goliath) To find a quick summary of the Goliath frog, visit this site. It contains information on facts status, description, range, habitat, biology threats, and conservation.
- http://www.cool-universe.com/naturegoliath.html This site contains another interesting story about the Goliath frog.
- The Goliath Frog If you want a encyclopedia article on the Goliath Frog find it here. This site contains information on the Goliath frog's lifespan, habitat, reproduction, and its relations to humans.