It is often hard to explain to young children when they see a pregnant woman that the baby is not actually in her stomach it's in her womb... wouldn't it be easy if we could just say mums carry their babies in their stomachs...? Well we can, but only when we are talking about this awesome and special frog... the Southern Gastric Brooding Frog. This little beauty of a frog broods tadpoles in her stomach! The species was discovered in 1973 in South-east Queensland. Amazingly, the female swallows the fertilised eggs which stay in her stomach for six weeks until they turn into tadpoles. The jelly around the eggs stops them being digested. The stomach expands so much it becomes as thin as a plastic bag and poor mum can't eat for six weeks! After this time the little froglets emerge from her mouth. It's name comes from the word 'gastric' meaning something to do with the stomach, like an 'upset tummy'.
Sadly, this amazing frog has not been seen since 1981, it is now thought to be extinct. What a devastating loss to the world. It represents the wonderful intricacies of biodiversity and evolution, and to us humans possible medical treatment for stomach ulcers or other gastric problems.
Frogs are fantastic, don't you think? There are still new species being discovered today, it's amazing to think what other types of wonderful animals there are out there!
Reference: 'It's True, Frogs are Cannibals' M.J. Tyler.