Mystery of Glass Frogs’ Translucent Skin Solved

Found in tropical Central and South America, the glass frog (of the Centrolenidae family) was the center of a recent study which reveals the creature’s translucent skin to be a camouflage device. While the frog’s back is typically “vivid green with their intestines and heart visible through their underbelly,” their legs are more see-through—making them much harder to detect. Dr James Barnett (postdoctoral researcher and co-author of the study) says, because of extra-translucent limbs, “the frog’s edge is transformed into a softer, less contrasting gradient from the leaf to the legs, and again from the legs to the body.” Scientists found that the frogs’ bodies don’t change too much—whether placed on a leafy, grassy or other background—but legs do, and it’s due to brightness rather than hue. Professor Devi Stuart-Fox says the finding is just another fact that makes the natural world so fascinating, “The sheer diversity of camouflage strategies in nature is truly remarkable.” Read more at The Guardian.