Water holding frog - Cyclorana platycephala
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Water holding frog - Cyclorana platycephala

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Description


This is a terestrial Freshwater type of frog who lives in Australia.
It occupies a wide range of habitat from forests of tropical swamp to intermittent pools and lowland grass country; all habitat is assumed to be of a low elevation. 

 

 Water holding frog,Cyclorana platycephala


Populations are assumed to be large from frequent reports and a broad range. This range is assumed to overlap with National parks, but research has not been undertaken into the ecology and biology of the species.
The water holding frog is known to lay its eggs and once hatched go back into aestivation for a period of 3 to 6 months. After this period it will lay more eggs and repeat the process.
The frog has a flat head and small eyes. Skin colour ranges from dull grey to dark brown or green, with a white belly. The toes are completely webbed. Dry periods are spent underground in a cocoon made from shed skin.
Size: Males: 42-64 mm Females: 50-72 mm



Habitat


There are three separate populations. One in the central arid zone of Western Australia from Winning Pool east to Lake Disappointment and south to Morawa and Laverton. 

 Water holding frog,Cyclorana platycephala-map


There is a small area in the north-western corner of the Northern Territory. Another large area extends from northern South Australia into New South Wales and south-western Queensland.
The extent of occurrence of the species is approximately 1645500 km2. Widely dispersed in habitat




Interesting Facts


The Water Holding Frog is probably the best example of a burrowing frog traditionally used by Aboriginals.

 Water holding frog,Cyclorana platycephala


This frog, like many burrowing frogs, spends the majority of its life underground. It seals itself in a water-proof cocoon made up of layers of shed skin. Water is stored in the bladder or in pockets under the skin, and a slight pressure applied by hand causes the frog to release this water.
The water is very fresh and after a drink the frog is released unharmed

One of the strange caracteristic of this frog is that it burrow itself into deep mud. Australian water holding frogs live in dry grasslands and deserts where there is less than 12 inches (30 cm) of rain a year. 

When rain comes the frogs have the ability to soak up water so they swell like a balloon. The frogs than use their powerful webbed feet to dig deep into the mud.
The frogs will create a cacoon around them up to 3 feet (1 m) under the ground. Here they rest until the nest rain comes, which can be months or even years!

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Sources :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/liquidghoul/2104888817/
http://frogs.org.au/frogs/species/Cyclorana/platycephala/
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41076/0

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