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04 March 2010

SPECIES OF THE DAY: THE TITICACA WATER FROG


The “Titicaca water frog” (“Rana gigante del Lago Titicaca”, Telmatobius culeus) is the World’s largest aquatic anuran amphibian.

There are reports of specimens up to 50 cm in length and weighting 1 kilogram. It is a completely aquatic species, bearing many skins folds thought to help in breathing through increased area for respiration. 
It is a species endemic to Lago Titicaca, the World’s largest (204 x 65 km) and highest (3800 m) endorheic lake (that is, in a closed internal drainage basin) shared by Bolivia and Peru.

Although currently listed as “Critically Endangered” and with its habitat being protected, specimens of this unique frog are still sold for human consumption in restaurants at Lake Titicaca, and also as souvenirs or as byproducts used in traditional medicine.

Read more by checking the "Species of the Day" gadget at the right column of this blog.

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