African Clawed Frog

The African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) is an aquatic, freshwater amphibian in the Pipidae family of tongueless frogs. It is also known as the African Clawed Toad or the African Claw-Toed Frog. 

The African Clawed Frog is greenish-grey with olive-green markings, but albino (white) frogs are common. It has smooth, slippery skin. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has three short claws on each hind (back) foot. It has webbed feet only on its back feet. Its back legs are very powerful. It front legs have long fingers. It has eyes, with red pupils, on the top of its head. It has a curved, flat nose.

African Clawed Frog

It grows to 10-13 centimetres (4-5 inches) in length. 

The African Clawed Frog is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, from Sudan to South Africa. 

It is completely aquatic, so it lives all of its life in water (unlike other frogs that live on land and in water). It lives in wetlands, ponds, and rivers. During droughts, it burrows under the mud and stays dormant (not moving) until rain arrives, for up to a year.

It does not have a tongue, and it does not have teeth. It uses its claws to tear food and its front feet to put the food into its mouth. It uses its sensitive fingers to feel the vibrations of animals. It eats insects, worms, and small animals. It sheds its skin every season, and eats its own skin.

It is diurnal, active during the day.

It is oviparous, laying eggs. The female lays 10-30 eggs, which hatch after about 14 days into tadpoles. The tadpoles grow into adult frogs.

The African Clawed Frog lives, on average, for about 15 years in the wild.

African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog

[Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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