Ceratophrys


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Ceratophrys

 

a genus of tailless amphibians. The upper eyelid of most species has a growth that resembles a horn. Some members of the genus have papillae and warts, and some have cutaneous ossifications on the head. The coloration is usually mottled, often including red-orange, red-brown, or bright green. The body length reaches 20 cm.

There are 14 species, distributed in South America. Some species are marked by polyploidy, which is very rare in vertebrates. The majority of species live in damp, swampy forests, yet some, such as C. laevis, live in the water. The amphibians feed on small vertebrates, for which they frequently lie in wait, burrowed in the ground with only their heads sticking out. They also eat invertebrates, such as mollusks. The tadpoles have strong jaws and eat the tadpoles of other amphibians. The cutaneous secretions of some members of the genus are harmless, but those of others, for example, C. americana, are highly poisonous.

I. S. DAREVSKII

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