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No. 40: Jul-Aug 1985

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Frog mothers do so care!

We usually think of reptiles and amphibians as bad parents, leaving their eggs unguarded and their young to fend for themselves. The strawberry poison-dart frog of Panama and Columbia seems to be an exception. The parents stand guard over the eggs, moistening them until the tadpoles emerge. Then, the mother allows the tadpoles to wriggle onto her back and, one at a time, she carries them to separate little pools of water trapped in bromeliad fronds. She even goes one remarkable step further. Remembering the location of each tadpole, she makes the rounds, depositing infertile eggs for them to eat!

(Anonymous; "Gallery," Discover, 6:55, May 1985.)

From Science Frontiers #40, JUL-AUG 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss