Most frogs appear to look quite similar, but the skulls of some species have interesting traits that are hidden under the skin. Among them, we can count the presence of horns, fangs, and spikes, which is surprising for many researchers.
A team of scientists employed sophisticated 3D scans to see how the skulls of the frogs looked on the inside. The study is a part of the oVert project, which aims to gather a veritable library of data related to the anatomical structure of vertebrates.
According to one of the researchers who contributed to the study, some of the most interesting shapes have been encountered among frogs that consume birds and small mammals, as they tend to use their head as a shield against the prey.
Specific Frogs’ Skulls Present Horns, Fangs, and Spikes
The experts analyzed the skulls of 158 frog species. Extra layers of bone have been found among all the skulls, which featured an unusual shape, contributing to the existence of ridges, layers, and groves. This phenomenon is classified under the name of hyperossification, or excessive bone formation.
While the habitat of the frogs may play an essential role in the presence of the interesting traits, it seems that other factors should be taken into account, but their specific nature remains a mystery for now. Some researchers argue that fighting, mating, and the need to defend a territory could be prime influences.
The skulls of different frog species have evolved in various ways to complement their needs. Fangs were useful for some species, but others prefer to strike the opponent with their body, and the spikes on their heads are more helpful for this purpose.
Many scientists continue to be fascinated by the fact that frogs have managed to evolve and adapt in a variety of environments, including some which are quite hostile. More data can be found in a paper published in a scientific journal.