Frogs generally need water to survive and reproduce, yet some species live in areas of the desert with little surface water and scant rainfall. These amphibians’ secret to survival is a mix of incredible adaptations and serious patience.
During dry stretches, desert frogs dig deep and bury themselves in the dampest mud they can find. Some will secrete a layer of mucus around the edges of their burrow. The mucus hardens and protects the moist frog from drying up. Once their burrow is in order, frogs aestivate, falling into a dormant state similar to hibernation.
Desert frogs can wait up to three years for rain. When it falls, they surface, enjoying a swim in ephemeral rainwater pools and overflowing oases topped with fresh blooms of tasty algae. They quickly eat, mate, and lay their eggs before the water evaporates. Then they return to their underground lairs to wait, again, for rain.
An interactive diorama of the earth’s biomes, Plants brims with secrets and surprises—we’ve even made a handbook of hints and fun facts for you and your kids. In these posts, we’ll peer into the sometimes-strange truths behind the worlds in our apps.