Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Jan 19 2012

Turtle Frog

Turtle frog on ground.



Turtle Frog with short nose.



Myobatrachus gouldii in Australia.



Turtlr Frog male body.


A very peculiar frog with a body shape superficially resembling a small turtle with its shell removed. The head is very small, with reduced eyes, and quite distinct from the body, unlike most other frogs. The limbs are short but muscular, especially the arms. Like its relatives the Sandhill Frogs, this species burrows forwards through the sand, unlike most of arid-adapted burrowing frogs that use their hind feet and descend backwards in to the soil. The back colour ranges from pink to a uniform light to dark brown. This frog grows to 5 cm.

Turtle Frogs are found west of a line drawn between Geraldton in the north and the Fitzgerald River to the south-east. In the Perth region they are relatively common on the coastal plain (e.g. King’s and Bold Park), but absent from the Darling Range. Further east, Turtle Frogs are encountered in the gently rolling wheatbelt country.

Brisbane Snake Catcher and Chapel Pest Control wrote on his company’s Facebook page that he was called out to remove a snake that was in an elderly woman’s garden. When he arrived at the residence, he found the snake and noticed that it had a lump in its throat. Chapel, correctly, thought the snake had eaten a frog, and as he approached the snake, the snake did what all snakes do after they become stressed after eating a meal, it regurgitated it, and it was a turtle frog !!!

The Turtle Frog of western Australia feeds on termites, digging through sand head-first — unusual for a frog but commonplace for a turtle. With a snub nose and stubby physique, this species only bring us to the Creepy Animals mathematical conundrum:

IF [heroes in a half shell = turtle power] THEN [heroes without a shell = frog power] ??


Photos via WAM, Blog on Forest Health,

Apr 21 2011

Texas Blind Salamander vs. the Olm

Olm swimming in a cave.

Defense: the Olm.

–  and  –

Texas Blind Salamander underwater.

Offense: the Texas Blind Salamander.

Rivalries in the animal kingdom are nothing new: Giant Squid vs. Sperm Whale, Baby Elephant vs. Crocodile. Now, a juxtaposition that will creep you out: the Texas Blind Salamander vs. the Olm. Both salamanders are pale, sightless, live in caves underground and remain in the gill-breathing larval stage its entire life. Let’s rack and stack:

The Texas Blind Salamander is found in just one location – the San Marcos Pool of the Edwards Aquifer in Hays, Texas.

Score: +1

The Olm is evolutionarily distinct: it is part of an ancient lineage of amphibians evolving independently for 190 million years! It lives for 50-100 years! It’s able to survive without food for up to 10 years!

Score: +3

Winner: Umm, the Olm.

Olm with elongated head.

This is what a winner looks like. Olm my god.

Photos via Discover Magazine and Arkive

Feb 4 2011

Pinocchio Frog

frog with long nose

"I love to lie! It's the truth."

The Pinocchio Frog was discovered in the remote Foja Mountains when herpetologist Paul Oliver saw an unusual amphibian perched on a bag of rice at the campsite. Oliver was unable to locate another Pinocchio Frog and suspects they dwell amongst the treetops. Let us celebrate this remarkable find with an excerpt from the original story:

Pinocchio: Oh, look! My nose! What’s happened?
The Blue Fairy: Perhaps you haven’t been telling the truth, Pinocchio.
Jiminy Cricket: Perhaps?

Way to lay it down, Jiminy. Turns out the male frog’s long, protruding nose points upward when it ribbits and hangs down low when it’s not. Nobody knows why. Creepy!

Photo via Nat Geo

Feb 26 2010

Surinam Toad

Surinam toad in captivity.

Hot toady.

Want a flat stomach and amazing skin? Give up on the detox diet and take a hint from the Surinam Toad. It’s super-thin and has an incredible dermis.

The spongy loose skin on its back is a fantastic medium to host embryos. Its eggs are embedded onto the back skin! After implantation, the eggs form pockets in the skin, which ends up looking like a honeycomb. Inside the skin, the eggs turn to tadpoles, and tadpoles into tiny frogs. Eventually, they emerge from their mother’s back as tiny Surinam Toadlets.

We know, it’s a creepy animal – but it’s doing something right.

Surinam Toad with eggs.

Baby got back. And back got babies.

Wait! There’s more! Watch the toadlets ‘hatch’ from their mother’s skin below. Guaranteed to creep you out!

Photo above via Aqua Pets Plus

Jan 26 2010

Rare: Purple Frog

Purple frog.

They finally caught the purp.

The Purple Frog was officially ‘discovered’ by scientists in 2003 in the Western Ghats region in India. This species is rare mainly because it is rarely seen – it devotes much of the year living 13 feet underground burrowing for termites.  The Purple Frog only comes to the surface two weeks a year during monsoon season to mate and scare the hell out of the non-locals.

Characteristics: purple skin, squat bloated corpus, beady eyes, snubbed nose, and generally creepy:

Purple frog on ground.

Top view.

Oct 23 2009

Unapologetically Creepy: Chinese Giant Salamander

Chinese Giant Salamander held by man.


Slimy things aren’t supposed to be this big. And yet here is the Chinese Giant Salamander, which can reach almost 6 feet in length. If Creepy Animals had a rating system, this would probably hover at 90%.

There is also a Japanese Giant Salamander. Though it is smaller than the Chinese version, it is still an absurdly large amphibian. Watch this snippet:

Oct 14 2009

Extremes: the Hairy Frog

Hairy frog.


Just in time for Halloween, we give you a truly creepy animal: the Horror Hairy Frog from Cameroon. Not only are the bristly skin appendages truly unsightly, this amphibian also has a nasty little trick up its hands. Through a bizarre twist of evolution, the Hairy Frog literally breaks its own bones as a defense mechanism.

How it works:

1. Hairy Frog is threatened.

2. Hairy Frog breaks its tiny finger bones, puncturing the toe pad skin: Exhibit A.

3. Hairy Frog effectively creates claws, made of bone: Exhibit B.

4. Hairy Frog can now defend itself, or at least clamor away from a potentially deadly situation. Everyone is creeped out.

Hairy frog claw.

(Ex. A) Just got them claws did.

Hairy frog bones.

(Ex. B) Tiny frog hand. Bones piercing through it. WTF?

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