Study finds frogs evolve unusual skulls with hidden “fangs” and horns

Some obscure frogs may be hidden under their moist, smooth skin, but not the more hidden things that make up the horns and fangs that make up their surprisingly unconventional skulls,media CNET reported. A 3D scan showed that while most frogs have smooth skull shapes, other frogs have evolved extremely unusual skulls.

The study, which cites scanning techniques, was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as part of the National Science Foundation-funded oVert project to digitize and classify anatomical data from vertebrates.

“On the face of it, frogs look similar, but when you look at their skulls, you see huge differences,” lead study author Daniel Paluh, a doctoral student at the University of Florida, said in a statement. “Some of the weirdest skulls have been found in some frogs that feed on birds and mammals, or in rare cases, they are poisonous, ” Palu said. Their skulls show the strangeness and diversity of frogs. “

The team analyzed the skull shapes of 158 species (in all living frog families) and found that all the abnormally shaped skulls had additional bone layers in the form of ridges, ditches and layers – a process known as “high bone” or excessive bone formation. While habitat isolation can be used as one of the key reasons why some frogs develop this trait while others don’t, other reasons are speculative.

Jodi Rowley, a biologist at the Australian Museum Institute who specializes in amphibians, believes this is most likely due to factors such as fighting, mating and defending territory. “We know very little about the evolution and adaptability of frogs, but these crazy skulls may have evolved into different species in different ways,” Rowley said. Due to other stress, some functions may have evolved – perhaps using “fangs” when eating, but becoming useful and exaggerated for other purposes, such as combat. “

“Some of these evolutions are amazing,” Rowley said. For example, the “fangs” used to fight in South East Asia are actually bone projections, while delicate spikes in the skulls of corythoms greeningi can actually release venom. “