Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rock Skipper Frog Uses Leg Waving to Communicate

Photo courtesy: Salford University

When the video first starts, the volume of noise from the river is almost deafening. Nothing can possibly be understood over the roar of the fast-running streams where the rock skipper frog makes its home; so, how do they communicate?

The rock skipper frog is the first frog known to have developed a non-verbal communication system. They communicate by waving their legs; and, the phenomena has been captured on video by researchers from The University of Salford. The leg waving is vital in warning other males of their presence and to advertise their availability to nearby females.

The behaviour was observed on a postgraduate tropical ecology field course at the Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah, North Borneo. Two University of Vienna students, Doris Preininger and Markus Boeckle, captured a rock skipper frog waving its legs at the edge of a stream.

This behaviour had first been discovered and recorded approximately 20 years ago; but, has only recently been thoroughly investigated.

Robert Jehle, from the University's of Salford said: "This video clip shows an exceptionally rare phenomenon, and at the same time serves as a good example of what we lose through the cutting down of rainforests."

Via WildlifeExtra

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