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Newly discovered frog fights with retractable spikes

Kramer Phillips | @KramerPhillips| December 11, 2012

Newly discovered frog fights with retractable spikes

Scientists at the University of Tokyo said male Otton frogs get into vicious fights that leave them scarred and bleeding.

Scientists have recently made new developments on a frog that appears to have thumb-like projections for fighting with males and mating with females. The frog, which is found on the Amami and Ryukyuk islands of Japan, seems to have knife-like spikes that come off like thumb-like projections. This unique project is found on the front of both forearms of the frog, also known as Otton frog or Babina subaspera.

Dr. Noriko Iwai, a professor at the University of Tokyo who was involved in the study, has proposed that the thumb-like projections are crucial during the mating season of the frogs. She believes the projections are used to grab and hold onto females during mating. In addition, she also thinks they spikes are important in fights with other males, which often take place during mating season in order to gain the affection of females in the group.

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