In Lake Titicaca lives the Titicaca Frog. The lake is in South America - it sprawls between Bolivia and Peru. The frog lives only in this lake and there is a great deal of concern that the species is becoming so rare that it could soon be extinct. The lake is the highest lake in the world lying some 4000 metres above sea level.
This frog is a very unusual looking frog as you can see from the picture above. It is almost as though it's skin is too big for it! There is a nice video above to watch that shows how this frog moves in the water.
Research is being carried out to try and find out why the frog is becoming so rare. It is felt that it is due the Lake Titicaca being so high above sea level that it is extremely vulnerable to climate change. This could be what is having a devastating effect of the frog. Recently, the biologist Arturo Munez said that he found lots of dead frogs in the lake. He is hoping to lead a team of experts in a diving research project to see if he can discover why the Titicaca frog is becoming so close to extinction. Hopefully, soon, there might be a program of captive breeding of the frog which would ensure its future is a bright one. Let's hope so - it would be a shame to see an end to yet another rare species of frog.
The adult frogs tend to live at the bottom of the deep water in the lake, while the younger frogs live mostly in the more shallow water. Evidence points to the fact that these frogs grow continually throughout their lives, however the rate of growth does slow down the older the frog gets. They are also quite large frogs and can weigh 250g or more even!
These frogs are quite solitary - they are happy to be alone. They are usually more nocturnal - a bit more active at night. They don't actually need to come up from the bottom of the lake for oxygen very often, but when they do, they reach the surface and stick their nostrils up into the air to ventilate their lungs.
Lake Titicaca has a lot of boats on it, and it has been noticed that these frogs will hide away when a boat comes too close to it.
The use of boats on the lake and agricultural equipment also have impacted on the habitat of the frog and might well be contributing to it's critically endangered status. The frog has been reducing in numbers drastically by about 80% in the past 15 years or so.
The frog has a diet that consists of snails, amphibods - which are little shrimp-like invertebrates, insects, tadpoles and fish.
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