Meet the Lake Titicaca Frog

Lake Titicaca resides between Bolivia and Peru at an extremely high altitude. One animal that has evolved to live in the environment is the Lake Titicaca frog (Telmatobius culeus) whose Latin name possibly started as a joke during an expedition in the late 1800s. Because there is sparse oxygen at high altitudes this frog has tons of extra skin to increase the surface area for oxygen absorption. While the average size of the frogs in the lake home has decreased over time, so too has the overall population and the IUCN now considers this animal as critically endangered. In the past, frog legs of Telmatobius culeus were eaten by visitors and locals alike, and animals were often used in local medicines. As a result of the IUCN status many locals are turning from cooking frog legs for dinner to becoming conservationists. Click on the link to watch the video!
ARKive video - Lake Titicaca frog - swimming underwater and eating shed skin

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.

Author: Heidi Kay Smith

Biology PhD student on the cusp of finishing and moving on to a postdoc in the behavioral ecology of amphibians. I blog to share my thoughts, ideas, and general feelings of awe of the natural world.

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