A few very special frogs just hatched at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. They're fairly unique among frogs, because they break out of their eggs as fully-formed tiny frogs, not as tadpoles.

The Solomon Island leaf frogs, Ceratobatrachus guentheri, which are also known as triangle frogs, complete their tadpole stage fully inside the egg, waiting to hatch as the more recognizable froglets. As soon as they hatch, they're ready to take care of themselves.


The Woodland Park Zoo explains on their blog:

The tiny frogs grow very quickly, starting at only an eighth of an inch when they emerge. They eat very small insects until they are large enough to transition to an adult diet of arthropods and larger insects, and even smaller reptiles and amphibians.

The little froglets practice ambushing tiny insects, a behavior they will use later to pounce on any prey that happens to wander through their territory. It's amazing to see these tiny creatures emerge from an egg and almost immediately become self-sufficient hunters.

The zoo is now home to six adults and seven juveniles of the species, which is classified by the IUCN as of "least concern." The origin for their name is fairly obvious given their amazing camouflage.



Photos by keeper Alyssa Borek, via Woodland Park Zoo.