Amplexus : to wind around. Or, from the Latin definition: to embrace.
Amplexus is what happens when a male frog has found a mate and he needs to take up a position in which he can fertilize the female's eggs.
This fertilization usually happens outside of the female's body, straight after the eggs have been released and before the 'jelly' surrounding the eggs begins to swell. For the male's sperm to make contact with as many of his mate's eggs as possible, the male needs to position his cloaca as close as possible to hers. There are two main types and a few variations:
There is another form of amplexus which is known as 'glued amplexus'. This is when the frogs are too large or have such short limbs that it would be impossible for them to carry out either inguinal or axillary amplexus, as they would not be able to move their limbs into the correct position.
So glued amplexus is a method where the male frogs secretes, or oozes out, a sticky substance from his abdominal glands and because it is so sticky, he can then attach himself to the female frog. The thing is, the stickiness is so incredible and effective, that it is actually very difficult for the frogs to become separate again! This means that potentially they could be stuck together for quite some time in this position until either the sticky substance breaks down or indeed the female sheds her skin and carries on her way.
To find out more about frog reproduction, pleaseclick here...
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