Frogs Pee Away Scientists' Attempt to Study Them

By Brett Israel | January 6, 2010 4:45 pm

tree-frog-webResearchers from the Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia (they really like Darwin there, apparently) thought they had schemed up a clever way to study how Australian Green Tree Frogs regulate their body temperature.

They surgically implanted temperature-sensitive radio transmitters inside the frogs’ bellies, but months later when they went to retrieve the frogs, the scientists found the transmitters scattered on the ground. Like so many great scientific discoveries, the researchers eventually went from “huh?” to “aha!” according to Nature News:

Researchers have discovered that these amphibians can absorb foreign objects from their body cavities into their bladders and excrete them through urination.

For the frogs, this means that any thorns or spiny insects they swallow while hopping around trees are safely (but painfully?) removed from the body.

This is the first time this phenomenon has been observed in an animal’s bladder, but some fish and snake species can absorb objects into their intestines from their body cavity and remove them by defecation.

Talk about adaptations that would make Darwin proud.

Related Content:
Discoblog: A Fruit Fly With a Laser-Shaved Penis Just Can’t Catch a Break
Discoblog: Australian Bee Fights Like an Egyptian—It Mummifies Beetle Intruders
Discoblog: Jeans: Stylish, Classic, And a Decent Defense Against Rattlesnake Bites

Image: flickr / VannaGocaraRupa

MORE ABOUT: frogs, urine, waste

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

See More

Collapse bottom bar