Fearful Frogs Build Secret Sex Chambers to Get in the Mood
When you hear "getting it on like animals" you probably think animals are 'doing the deed' all the time and whenever they please. But when you really think about it, how could they? With predators always looking to make an easy meal of any pair that's... distracted, it may be hard to get some alone time. That's why one frog in Brazil builds secret underwater chambers just for this purpose.
"We describe a new species of Hylodes from the Atlantic forest of Serra do Japi, Município de Jundiaí, State of São Paulo," Brazilian researchers wrote in a study recently published in the journal Herpetologica."We provide details of the new species' secretive underwater breeding that are superficially known for the genus Hylodes, such as spawning, egg traits, and female role in concealing the underwater chambers."
Wait... did they say underwater chamber?! You read that right. Apparently these little guys build their own secret sex chambers just so they can do the deed in peace, and you can't really blame them. Spending most of their lives in shallow waters, the Brazilian Torrent (Hylodes japi) frog has natural predators ranging from birds, to snakes, to even other amphibians!
And like most stream-sitting frogs, torrent males will hang out on the margins of fast-flowing streams - a picturesque setting from where they sing their love ballads in attempts to draw a female's attention. If a lucky lady takes the bait, the pair will then dive headfirst into the stream they were just standing over. From there, the male will give his new date a tour of all his favorite spots.
And while that alone sounds romantic, things are just getting started. Carefully camouflaged researchers observed that it sometimes takes as little as five minutes for the browsing to end at the perfect spot. The male then quickly gets to work, carving out a chamber in the stream's muddy bed until he's made a tiny pocket under the water that snuggly fits two.
There they 'get to work' in peace - the results of which are laid in the back of their "sex chamber." The pair then leave their hidey-hole, with the male holding off the harshest of the stream's flow as his partner quickly works to cover up the chamber's entrance.
And while hatching in your parents' secret sex dungeon sure sounds like a horror story, the Brazilian team add that this is likely the safest place for young to be, as the chamber saves tadpoles from the strong torrents of their namesake, even as this water keeps predators out.
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