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Only a CT Scanner Can Show How the PAC-MAN Frog Stuffs its Face

Only a CT Scanner Can Show How the PAC-MAN Frog Stuffs its Face

FrogEat_FEAT

The genus of frogs known as Ceratophrys (shown above) are also known as Pac-Man frogs because they gobble up everything in sight, prey that is almost the size they are. We know that these frogs stuff their faces, but we’ve never seen how everything actually, well, fits. Now, thanks to CT scanning, we can see that a Ceratophrys stomach can get pretty cramped.

FrogEat_1Click to enlarge.

Dr. Thomas Kleinteich, member of the Functional Morphology and Biomechanics working group at the Zoological Institute at Kiel University, took the amazing images above and below using a medical CT scanner. The specimen in question was a South-American horned frog preserved in alcohol at the Zoological Museum in Hamburg.

But Kleinteich wasn’t looking for the science behind the frog’s monster appetite. He was investigating the adhesive properties of Ceratophrys tongues when he found another frog, shown in pink, barely fitting inside the aggressor.

FrogEat_2Click to enlarge.

According to Earth Touch, the prey, a leopard frog, was over half the length of the horned frog. It was such a large meal, Kleinteich speculates, that it may have been its last.

HT: Earth Touch

IMAGES: Ceratophrys ornata by Rusty Clark; Dr Thomas Kleinteich, Kiel University

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